In the modern world the Internet is one of the main sources of information. For people with disabilities the Web gives the opportunity to participate in the society in ways that are otherwise troublesome or not possible.
Web accessibility implies that all people, including people with access needs or disabilities, are able to use the Internet. If to be more specific, web accessibility means that all people are able to understand, navigate, and interact with the Web.
Web accessibility makes the Internet accessible for people with visual, hearing, physical, speech, cognitive and neurological disabilities. Although these people have certain limitations, their willingness to engage with the Web and surf the net is not less than the eagerness of the general public.
These are some real examples of how people with certain access needs interact with the Web:
However, Web accessibility is good not only for people with access needs. Web accessibility is common sense and logic that makes any webpage user-friendly and appealing to any audience. Poor navigation and inadequate color contrast annoys any user, but for people with disabilities these issues make the site absolutely inoperable. Web accessibility brings flexibility to the website and increases its usability. It allows to meet different user needs and reach a greater audience.
Web accessibility = common sense
Source: Henry, S. L. (2006). “Understanding Web Accessibility”. Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance. Ch. 1.