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Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites, by people with disabilities. When sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, all users have equal access to information and functionality.

For example, when a site is coded with semantically meaningful HTML, with textual equivalents provided for images and with links named meaningfully, this helps blind users using text-to-speech software and/or text-to-Braille hardware. When text and images are large and/or enlargeable, it is easier for users with poor sight to read and understand the content. When links are underlined (or otherwise differentiated) as well as colored, this ensures that color blind users will be able to notice them. When clickable links and areas are large, this helps users who cannot control a mouse with precision. When pages are coded so that users can navigate by means of the keyboard alone, or a single switch access device alone, this helps users who cannot use a mouse or even a standard keyboard. When videos are closed captioned or a sign language version is available, deaf and hard-of-hearing users can understand the video. When flashing effects are avoided or made optional, users prone to seizures caused by these effects are not put at risk. And when content is written in plain language and illustrated with instructional diagrams and animations, users with dyslexia and learning difficulties are better able to understand the content. When sites are correctly built and maintained, all of these users can be accommodated without decreasing the usability of the site for non-disabled users.

The needs that Web accessibility aims to address include:

  • Visual: Visual impairments including blindness, various common types of low vision and poor eyesight, various types of color blindness;
  • Motor/mobility: e.g. difficulty or inability to use the hands, including tremors, muscle slowness, loss of fine muscle control, etc., due to conditions such as Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, stroke;
  • Auditory: Deafness or hearing impairments, including individuals who are hard of hearing;
  • Seizures: Photo epileptic seizures caused by visual strobe or flashing effects.
  • Cognitive/Intellectual: Developmental disabilities, learning disabilities (dyslexia, dyscalculia, etc.), and cognitive disabilities of various origins, affecting memory, attention, developmental "maturity," problem-solving and logic skills, etc.
Sorce from Wikipedia

Accessibility Driven development means that our developers follow POUR design or in other words the WCAG principles for Web Accessibility.

You may be thinking, "Why does this matter?". There are three reasaons to have have an Accessibility Driven Websites:

  1. Human-centered motivations - To improve the lives of people with disabilities
  2. Marketing or economic-centered motivations - To capitalize on the a wider audience or consumer base
  3. Public relations and punishment-centered motivations - To avoid lawsuits and/or bad press

Accessibility Driven Websites will accomplish all three no matter what your reason. The overall goal for a website is to make sure it can be viewd by all users no matter the screen size or technology they are useing.

This form of development takes mobile first or responsive design one step futher. Bonuce Points - Accessibility Driven development will help you with your SEO.

WCAG 2.0 focuses heavily on the principles of accessibility. By focusing more on principles rather than techniques, the guidelines are more flexible, and encourages developers to think through the process conceptually. The four main guiding principles of accessibility in WCAG are:

  • Perceivable - Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive. This means that users must be able to perceive the information being presented (it can't be invisible to all of their senses)
  • Operable - User interface components and navigation must be operable. This means that users must be able to operate the interface (the interface cannot require interaction that a user cannot perform)
  • Understandable - Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable. This means that users must be able to understand the information as well as the operation of the user interface (the content or operation cannot be beyond their understanding)
  • Robust - Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies. This means that users must be able to access the content as technologies advance (as technologies and user agents evolve, the content should remain accessible)

Conveniently, these principles spell out an acronym that is relatively easy to remember: POUR. The idea is to create a POUR web site, so to speak. The pun may be a bad one, but if it helps developers memorize the principles, then it has served its purpose. Each of these principles is discussed more in depth in the sections that follow. For now it is sufficient to say that putting the POUR principles helps put people at the center of the process, which, in the end, is the whole reason for even discussing the issues.