The web is an increasingly important resource in many aspects of life. It is essential that the web is equally accessible to people with disabilities. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software and tools) to lead the web to its full potential.
Making the web accessible
When sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, all users can have equal access to information and functionality. Some examples are:
- 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 coloured, 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, these measures can be accommodated without decreasing the usability of the site for non-disabled users.
Another benefit of building a website with Accessibility in mind is that it will also be easier for Search Engines to "read" and index your website.
SilverStripe and Accessibility
SilverStripe is a very flexible framework and CMS that properly separates the frontend of the website from the CMS.
This means that it doesn't limit your way of building the design of your website, which makes it easier to integrate Accessibility in to the frontend than with other frameworks like e.g. Wordpress.
When we build a site we make sure it adheres to all the basic Accessibility requirements. If you need your website to comply with a certain Accessibility Guideline (e.g. WCAG 2.0 A or AA), please let us know and we'll make sure we'll accommodate it in your project.