What is web accessibility?
When developing components we need to think in a different way. Instead of thinking,
does this component work? (when you actually mean,
does this component work from the perspective of a non-visually impaired mouse user?).
Instead, we need to think of the following perspectives:
- a person who uses a screen-reader (who may have limited or no vision)
- a person who uses a screen-reader (who may have limited or perfect vision i.e. they can physically see elements of the webpage to some degree or another)
- a person with poor vision who needs to zoom-in either a lot or a bit in order to read the webpage
- a person who cannot use a mouse (maybe their hand/fingers can't use a mouse, maybe they are using a touch screen device, maybe they are using a voice powered TV or TV remote, maybe they are using their keyboard)
The point is that there are many different types of people who use websites in ways that are different how you use them and we don't want to block any of those people from using the site in a way that works best for them.
Helping to change perspective
In my training sessions, I love to play attendees the Apple Commercial, 'I am the Greatest'. This video is so powerful for people to experience because it changes their perspective and they dsicover real people using Apple products in ways they did not know where possible using features they did not know existed.
A lot of the time, disabled website users are invisible. Our analytics tell us what browser people use but not that they use a screen-reader or that they have a motor impairment or low vision. Therefore, it is easy to assume (or wish) that they do not use your website/product but they most likely do and if your service does not cater to them you are losing sales and goodwill.