Before we dive into what web accessibility is, we should first understand what the word ‘Accessibility’ entails. From my knowledge, “Accessibility means the ability of everyone regardless of their condition to have access to something (e.g internet, transport system)."
Wikipedia says, “ Accessibility refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people who experience disabilities.” So we could eventually say the Web Accessibility is a way to make everyone including the disabled to have access to the web and internet in whole. To put it differently, we could also say:
Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the Web.
At the end of the day, we can conclude that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web. Web accessibility also benefit those with temporary or conditional disabilities which in some cases maybe aging, slow internet connection, broken arm, e.t.c.
To better understand this we need to elaborate on types of disabilities.
There are three Modes of Disability:
Permanent Disability: This is when you are completely disabled. Example: blind, deaf and so.
Temporary Disability: This is simply a physical or mental disability which hinders your discharging of responsibilities for a short period of time.
Conditional or Situation Disability: This is simply when you are not able to do things due to the situation you find yourself in. Example: slow internet connection.
Why Web Accessibility is Important
The Web and Internet in whole is an increasingly important resource in many aspects of our life which includes: education, employment, government, commerce, health care, recreation, and more. It is important that the Web be accessible to everyone in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities. An accessible Web can help people with disabilities participate more actively in society. Also an accessible website is often one of the easiest ways to do business with many people with disabilities, for instance, people who cannot read print material, people who have difficulty going to a physical store or mall, and others. Furthermore, what you do for accessibility overlaps with other best practices such as mobile Web design, usability, and search engine optimization (SEO) An accessible website gives access to information and interaction for many people with disabilities. That is, the accessibility barriers to print, audio, and visual media can be much more easily overcome through Web technologies.
How Joomla! Improves the Accessibility
Joomla! Comes with many more accessible features so the people who are unable to navigate or browse through the web can easily work over it and create their own websites or templates with ease. The Accessibility plugins offers many features like adjusting the colors, text to speech, text spacing, etc.
Apart from this, the Keyboard navigation plugin is offering a good range of work so people don’t have to worry about the mouse and can easily navigate via the Keyboard shortcuts can also be customized according to the user choices they made. The Keyboard shortcut plugin is offering shortcuts for main components like Article, Categories, Menus, Users, Contact, Banners, etc.
Common Shortcuts like :
- Save = ALT + S.
- Save & New = SHIFT + ALT + N
- Save & Close = ALT + W.
& Many more….