The Web is an increasingly important resource in many aspects of life: education, employment, government, commerce, health care, recreation, and more. It is essential that the Web be accessible in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with diverse abilities. Access to information and communications technologies, including the Web, is defined as a basic human right in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).
The Web offers the possibility of unprecedented access to information and interaction for many people with disabilities. That is, the accessibility barriers to print, audio, and visual media can be much more easily overcome through web technologies.
Accessibility supports social inclusion for people with disabilities as well as others, such as:
- older people
- people in rural areas
- people in developing countries
There is also a strong business case for accessibility. As shown in the previous section, accessible design improves overall user experience and satisfaction, especially in a variety of situations, across different devices, and for older users. Accessibility can enhance your brand, drive innovation, and extend your market reach.
Web accessibility is required by law in many situations.