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Designing For Accessibility Is Not That Hard!

Author: Mehrdad Haghighi

1. What Is Accessibility?

Accessibility enables people with disabilities to understand, perceive, contribute to, interact with, and navigate the web. This can include people who are blind, colour-blind, or have low vision, those who are deaf or have hearing difficulties, people with mobility impairments which may be temporary or permanent, or people with cognitive disabilities.

2. Why Design For Accessibility?

1. Designers have the power and responsibility to ensure access to what they create regardless of ability, context, or situation.

2. There are over 1 billion people worldwide who have a disability.

3. Studies have shown that accessible websites have better search results, they reach a bigger audience, they’re SEO friendly, and they have faster download times.

3. Barriers Of Accessibility

Barriers can be:

-     visual (colour blindness)
-     motor/mobility (wheelchair-user)
-     auditory (hearing difficulties)
-     seizures (especially photosensitive epilepsy)
-     learning (dyslexia)
-     environmental (noisy environment)
-     incidental (e.g., sleep-deprivation)

4. Accessible Designs Help Everyone

Accessibility is not only the right thing to do, but often also brings benefits to all users. For instance, video captions that help people with hearing difficulties also help a person who is watching the video on mute (e.g., in a social media feed). Legible, high-contrast text that helps people with vision difficulties also helps people with perfect eyesight who are using the app outdoors in bright sunlight. 

5. Conclusion

Designing for accessibility is NOT that easy, but it is essential. With the ageing of the population, more and more users are over 65 years old. This means that an increasing part of the users are more likely to develop a form of disability. Indeed, people’s ability to cope with new technologies decreases with age as well as their sight, which is why the elderly people need guidance.

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