What is Web Accessibility?
Ramps, elevators, Braille; these are all accommodations that come to mind when talking about accessibility. But, in today’s high-tech world, accessibility extends far beyond the accommodations listed above. Now that so many things are done virtually, accessibility on the web is incredibly important. According to the Web Accessibility Initiative, “web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them.” This includes disabilities that are cognitive, auditory, visual, physical, and neurological.
But what does that look like? If you look on employU’s website, you will see an icon of a person in the lower left. When you click that icon, a menu will open that allows the user to select different settings based on their needs. This includes, but is not limited to, settings specifically designed for people who are visually impaired, blind, have ADHD, or experience seizures. This allows the user to adjust the website to their needs with a simple click of a button. There are also options to fully customize the size of the text, line height, color scheme, and more.
These settings make it possible or sometimes just easier for people with disabilities to navigate and interact with the Web, as well as contribute to the Web. Something as simple as stopping the animation or dimming the colors on a webpage can make a world of difference when it comes to ease of usability for someone with a disability. Having a website that integrates with adaptive technology is also a key part of web accessibility. Programs like JAWS, TalkBack, and NVDA are screen readers that allow blind or visually impaired users to read the screen either with a text-to-speech output or Braille display. A website that is compatible with these programs will ensure that people using these types of adaptive technologies are able to explore and understand the content on the site.
As our technology has advanced, allowing us to expand into the virtual world, web accessibility has become a vital part of inclusion. Being inclusive means incorporating accommodations for people of all needs, allowing everyone access to receive and contribute to content online. Making sure our website is accessible is one of the many ways employU is committed to ensuring all of our customers have access to the information and tools they need to succeed in their journey towards securing meaningful careers. For more information on web accessibility visit the Web Accessibility Initiative at https://www.w3.org/WAI/fundamentals/accessibility-intro/