Why Bother with Accessibility?

UPDATE: I have moved to Google, as many of my institution's groups are hosted there. I'll still check back here from time to time, but for the most up-to-date information, please visit Accessible Design Google Group

In short, it's the right thing to do. Accessible design benefits all users, regardless of ability. Accessible design also addresses the needs of people with different learning styles. Finally, accessible design benefits web designers and content creators as it refocuses attention on how information is consumed and used. Just do it!

The United Nation's Statement on Human Rights
This United Nations document was adopted in 2006 as a comprehensive guide to human rights and fundamental freedoms that should be extended to all people regardless of ability, including Article 9, the right of accessibility.

Web Accessibility in Mind
In their own words, WebAIM's mission is to expand the potential of the web for people with disabilities by providing the knowledge, technical skills, tools, organizational leadership strategies, and vision that empower organizations to make their own content accessible to people with disabilities. WebAIM also offers a low-cost site monitoring and reporting service to check accessibility.

Web Accessibility Initiative
In the words of the site authors, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Accessibility Initiative brings together people from industry, disability organizations, government, and research labs from around the world to develop guidelines and resources to help make the Web accessible to people with disabilities including auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech, and visual disabilities.

Web Accessibility through the Eyes of a Screen Reader
This short YouTube video lets you experience what it's like to interact with a website using a screen reader. Once you've seen it, you'll know why "click here" should die!

Please feel free to contact me by posting in the discussion or at sherry.lindquist@northlandcollege.edu if you have suggestions or comments on this wiki (particularly if there is something that can be done to make it more accessible). I do not claim to be an accessibility expert, but I am a willing and eager learner!