Accessibility

"Web accessibility" refers to those rules, as a whole, established by WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative), a working group issued by the W3C, the web consortium directed by Tim Berners-Lee.

The WAI generated the WCAI ((Web Content Accessibility Initiative). The WCAI set a number of principles and guidelines to follow in order to give accessibility to the largest possible audience. In particular, contents should be accessible by users with various degrees of physical and cognitive deficit and this fact leads to a better and easier way to scroll web pages even for those who have minor hardware and software equipment.

 

Disabilities can be of a various kind: unable to move the mouse, total or partial blindness to some colours, or to the text fonts.

 

These disabilities are much more common than we think, and the numbers given by the WAI tell us that the percentage of those problems varies from 10% to 20% among the population. So it is a serious problem of the democracy for the access to the web.

 

Another consideration is obviously about the big variety of screens and devices used by the web surfers: from very small screen to mobile phones and new devices which are quite different from our usual desktop monitor.

 

Accessibility is granted, but in which way?

 

It is almost clear that to allow all the different users to enjoy a pleasant navigation it is not an easy road.

 

 

 

But the WAI approach is very rational and realistic. The basic principle is that not everybody is experiencing the same things while surfing, but the main things of a site is that it should be accessible by everyone in the same way.

 

 

 

For example, following the WAI rules all web pages should respect two standards:

 

1.let a smart transformation of the page (from different browsers for example)

 

2. the content itself should be easily visualized and understood

 

(that is the first aim of accessibility)

 

 

 

Even a text can be read out loud by the browser for the blind users, but also an image or a table could be read by the browser if the developer of the site has put the right code for browsers.

 

So the accessibility topic with its guidelines is strictly related to two basic concepts: the compatibility and the portability of the code. The WCAI also enters into the details of the structure and the intelligibility of contents: those are the same topics that usability is dealing with.

 

Plone CMS gives out a mark up that passes W3C validation test.

 

 

 

 

 

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