'Why Bother with Accessibility?'

Laura Kalbag, writing for 24 Ways, explains why universal accessibility support is critical:

In the web community, there’s a surprisingly inconsistent approach to accessibility. There are some who are endlessly dedicated to accessible web design, and there are some who believe it so intrinsic to the web that it shouldn’t be considered a separate topic. Still, of those who are familiar with accessibility, there’s an overwhelming number of designers, developers, clients and bosses who just aren’t that bothered.

Over the last few months I’ve spoken to a lot of people about accessibility, and I’ve heard the same reasons to ignore it over and over again. Let’s take a look at the most common excuses.

Terrific piece by Kalbag. Definitely worth a read.

As I tweeted last night, there’s a common misconception that accessibility is only important to those with disabilities. That’s absolutely not true —- accessibility has far more relevance than just to those with special needs. Accessibility, as the name implies, is about access. It’s about finding tools with which to easier grasp information and to do stuff — two examples of this are using app launchers and text snippets. Alfred helps users launch apps and other items more quickly, while something like TextExpander saves users from having to type the same bits of text a billion times. In a similar vein, the Larger Dynamic Type feature in iOS 7 is obviously great for the visually impaired, but it can also help normal-sighted folks whose eyesight is just getting worse with age or who simply feel more comfortable reading at large font sizes. All of this is to say that it’s misguided to pigeonhole Accessibility as something only suited for a “minority”. Accessibility can benefit everyone.