Accessible Internet and Intranet Sites
Accessible Internet and Intranet Sites Development
While traditionally accessibility focuses on making the web more accessible for users with permanent disabilities, a focus on accessibility can deliver an improved user experience for everyone, including those with a temporary or circumstantial disability.
Since 1990, a U.S. law, known as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has prohibited discrimination against people with disabilities. It requires governmental, commercial, and other public buildings to be accessible. Through U.S. court decisions, this requirement has been extended to websites. U.S. judges have based their decisions upon that interpretation of the ADA, and upon other laws, such as Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In 1998, Section 508 was amended to eliminate barriers in information technology, open new opportunities for people with disabilities, and encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. As of 2018, Section 508 requires U.S. federal agencies to raise the level of their website accessibility to match international standards known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0). This will likely have a significant impact on future court decisions, in that businesses and other organizations will be required to conform their websites to a higher level of accessibility. Many businesses do not understand the impact of these policies.
Accessibility should permeate the entire design and development process, rather than being something that you only think about after everything else has been defined and implemented. QED’s goal is to help your business make its websites accessible to people with disabilities, in part by meeting and exceeding the WCAG 2.0 standards. Importantly, accessibility work makes websites more usable by everyone.
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