HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
5.8 Design to Provide Accessibility
Vinton Cerf, the coinventor of TCP/IP and the former chairman of the Internet Society,
proclaimed that “The Internet is for everyone” (see
speeches/foreveryone.shtml). Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web,
states that “The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of
disability is an essential aspect” (see
Focus on Accessibility
Who benefits from increased accessibility? Consider the following scenarios:
Maria, a young woman in her twenties with physical challenges who cannot
manipulate a mouse and who uses a keyboard with much effort
Leotis, a college student who is deaf and wants to be a Web developer
Jim, a middle-aged man who has a dial-up Internet connection and is using the
Web for personal enjoyment
Nadine, a mature woman with age-related macular degeneration who has diffi-
culty reading small print
Karen, a college student using a different type of user-agent, such as a cell phone,
to access the Web
Prakesh, a man in his thirties who is legally blind and needs access to the Web to
do his job
All these individuals benefit from Web pages designed with accessibility in mind. A Web
page that is designed to be accessible is typically more usable for all—even a person
who has no physical challenges and is using a broadband connection benefits from the
improved presentation and organization of a well-designed Web page.
The Internet and Web are such a pervasive part of our culture that accessibility is pro-
tected by laws in the United States. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires elec-
tronic and information technology, including Web pages, used by federal agencies to be
accessible to people with disabilities.
The accessibility recommendations presented in this text are intended to satisfy the
Section 508 standards and the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative guidelines See for an informative, descriptive
list of the Section 508 Standards for Web pages (Web-based intranet and Internet
information and applications).
The federal government is promoting accessibility by law and the private sector is fol-
lowing its lead.
The W3C is also active in this cause and has created the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
(see to create guidelines and standards applicable to Web content
developers, authoring tool developers, and browser developers. The most recent version of
the WAI's guidelines are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0). The
following four principles are essential to conformance with WCAG 2.0— P erceivable,
O perable, U nderstandable, and R obust. Use the acronym POUR to remember them.)
1. Content must be P erceivable
2. Interface components in the content must be O perable
3. Content and controls must be U nderstandable
4. Content should be R obust enough to work with current and future user agents,
including assistive technologies
Search WWH ::

Custom Search