The power of the Web is in its universality.
Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.
– Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

Accessibility enables users with disabilities to obtain the same benefits from a website or product as users without disabilities. Website accessibility specifically addresses the needs of people with impairments in any of the following areas: visual, motor or mobility, hearing, seizures, and/or cognitive/intellectual. Other barriers to access that must be considered are users with limited bandwidth and mobile device users. People with these needs require websites to be built with all of this in mind. It is much easier to build a website addressing these needs to begin with, rather than having to go back to fix them at a later date. Assistive technologies that are used by individuals with some of these disabilities include:

  • screen reader software
  • braille terminals
  • screen magnification software
  • speech recognition software
  • keyboard overlays
  • access to subtitled or sign language videos

When websites are designed properly these and other web tools can be used effectively. Some of the most important elements to address during web development are:

  • alternative text for images
  • keyboard input and visual focus
  • transcripts for podcasts or other video/audio recordings
  • link text
  • link appearance
  • color contrast
  • resizing text
  • headings
  • page titles

A good starting place, to ensure that you are developing a top-notch, highly accessible website, is W3C’s page Easy Checks – A First Review of Web Accessibility.


Helpful Links

An awesome blog full of resources for the Disabled Population

Sites to help define Accessibility


Accessibility defined on Wikipedia

W3C Web Accessibility Initiative

Accessibility features available from major Technology Companies






iOS 8


How to assess websites for accessibility

WAVE web accessibility evaluation tool

Web accessibility toolbar

The Accessibility Project

Disabilities requiring enhanced accessibility

Web accessibility


Making a website Accessible


University of Washington

Links and Hypertext