The different disabilities to be taken into account to improve web accessibility

There are different types of disabilities: visual, auditory, motor or even mental. These different types of disabilities must be taken into account if you want to optimize the web accessibility of your site.

Visual handicap

The visual handicap is to be taken in the broad sense. It concerns people suffering from total blindness, those with poor vision (myopia, presbyopia) or people suffering from color blindness. It is estimated that nearly 10% of the population suffers from mild or very severe vision problems (even when wearing glasses). Hence the importance of taking this handicap into account, for example by making sure that the choice of colors for a product is easy even for color-blind people.

On optimizing websites for people who have difficulty distinguishing colors, we recommend reading this very comprehensive article. The author of this article lists several tools to improve the web accessibility of the site for people with vision problems:

Check My Colours: you fill in a URL of your site, and the tool sends you feedback listing the elements to improve.
Color Oracle: this tool allows to show what a person is having difficulties to differentiate colors sees. You can also use the Chrome plugin ” I Want To See Like The Color Blind.”

WebAIM Contrast Checker, allows you to measure the quality of contrast between two colors of your site.

Hearing disability

According to national data, 13% of the US population suffers from hearing problems (from mild to total deafness). To make your website more accessible to these people, you need to provide subtitles or transcripts of all your multimedia content, and transcripts of all your audio content.

Motor handicap

In the context of web accessibility, motor disability refers, for example, to the inability to use the mouse, lack of responsiveness or any other disability that limits movement. Motor disability is a category that includes a wide variety of disabilities: spinal cord injury, arthritis, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, etc. Many people are affected by some form of motor disability.

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The solutions to facilitate the accessibility of your site to this public are multiple, because of the very multiplicity of forms of motor handicap.

Cognitive disability

Cognitive disability is also marked by diversity and can take many forms, from memory problems to concentration difficulties to learning difficulties. This diversity can be reduced to three categories: concentration, memory and comprehension problems (visual, linguistic or mathematical). To facilitate access to your site for people with cognitive disabilities, you must work as much on the design, structure, and content.

Good practices to improve the accessibility of your website.

WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0) is a set of recommendations designed to improve the accessibility of websites. WCAG 2.0 has become a standard, even if paradoxically the project has been criticized for its complexity! You will find at this address a summary of all the recommendations and techniques, classified by category.

WCAG 2.0 is built around four pillars: perception (perceivable), usability (operable), comprehensibility (understandable) and compatibility (robust). An accessible site is a site that is easy to perceive (read), use, understand and compatible with current and future technologies.

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