I always forget that among the billions of internet users, there are people with disabilities who need it to be accessible. Government-run websites tend to have strict guidelines to help meet this need. Your average blog or school website, however, rarely makes this consideration. W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative provides strategies, guidelines, and resources. But in a world where average attention span is just barely 8 seconds, people don’t have the time to comb through pages and pages of text in order to learn what it takes to make their websites more accessible. Yet, there are many of us who strongly believe that the Internet should be considered a basic human right. If the Internet is a basic human right, shouldn’t the web be equally accessible to everyone? With today’s surge in smartphone and tablet use, the internet has become a multimedia experience. Designers and developers are rushing to make their websites and applications more “responsive” so that there is a more seamless transition from device to device.
With this push to make the web more “intuitive”, the underlying need to make the web more accessible is buried underneath the priorities. Designers and developers aren’t to blame entirely though. Let’s face it, it’s a pain in the ass to comb through thousands of lines of old code and make the comprehensive changes. For companies and businesses, it will also cost thousands to hire an accessibility consultant just to point out the infractions. Making the website accessible much more vigorous than making a website responsive. As with any good website, you have to consider cross-browser compatibility, and of course, each browser has their own way of handling accessibility. You would also have to make the website compatible with special screen-viewing devices which all work differently from one another.
These are just some of the daunting tasks which cause websites who can’t afford the time and money to drop web accessibility altogether. Why try to cater to a minority when there is so much to cater for in the majority? Unless there is some kind of worldwide web accessibility regulation, many people will continue to remain shut out from the full web experience. My suggestion? Make the procedure more approachable. Use videos! Write a user interface framework! There should be the same amount of resources and initiatives out there for web accessibility as there is for responsive design.