ARTICLE SUMMARY: In the beginning accessibility was not always a major concern when designing. When the first version of “Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)” was launched in 1999 it helped to bring accessibility to the forefront of design.
In Fabricio Teixeira‘s article “GIVING A DAMN ABOUT ACCESSIBILITY” he gives us the updated and definitive definition what is considered a disability and guidelines on how to design for these disabilities.
Many disability guidelines have been published since 1999. But there have been complaints that some of these guidelines are
- Too prescriptive (making it seem like the items on the checklist are all you have to care about).
- Too aspirational (painting a utopian picture that doesn’t drive action).
- Too charity-driven (driving the point that people with disabilities are to be pitied and painting the gaps as too enormous to ever be practically resolved).
- Biased, published to “help” the public, but in reality, the major motivation is to sell accessibility consulting services or tools.
Accessibility is good business, the more people who see your product or service the greater the chances of you making a sale. It is important that ALL people have access to goods and services offered, as designers we have a responsibility to do our best to make sure that this happens.
This article is a must read for all designers. Especially helpful is the free download “GIVING A DAMN ABOUT ACCESSIBILITY” answering all your questions about designing for disabilities.
This is another great resource to keep in your tool box, let us know what you think in the comments.