International Day of Persons with Disabilities highlights importance of web accessibility

Today is the sixteenth United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), which takes places annually on 3 December around the world.

The theme for this year’s IDPD is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”.

This theme focuses on empowering persons with disabilities for the inclusive, equitable and sustainable development envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – this includes digitalisation and smart cities.

To achieve this agenda it’s essential that people with disabilities have full and equal participation in all areas of society.

It’s also critical that society creates enabling environments by, for and with persons with disabilities.

But of course inclusive societies must also think about digital accessibility as well as physical accessibility.

The power of the web for inclusion in everyday activities

When World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee created the web he believed it could help to empower all members of society and democratise media by making information accessible to everyone.

He said: “The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect…The Web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, location, or ability.

“When the Web meets this goal, it is accessible to people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive ability.

“Thus the impact of disability is radically changed on the Web because the Web removes barriers to communication and interaction that many people face in the physical world.

“However, when web sites, applications, technologies, or tools are badly designed, they can create barriers that exclude people from using the Web,” – Sir Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director.

Getting web accessibility right

This means that people with disabilities should have inclusion in all everyday activities online.

At this time of year this requires ensuring that people with disabilities can do everyday things online that many of us may take for granted.

These include online shopping for Christmas presents, going online to book a Christmas lunch at a restaurant, or booking travel tickets to go and visit family and friends.

Ultimately, all organisations must consider web accessibility tools and make sure they make their websites accessible so that people with disabilities can access their goods and services online.

100’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible for people with disabilities – call 0191 4328092 to find out more or book your free demo now. You can also try our website accessibility checker for free.

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