Introduction

Myths and Misconceptions about Accessibility

Talking about web accessibility makes some people nervous, and they come with a list of objections, many of which are actually myths. This next section examines a few of those myths and presents some counter arguments. Being able to refute such short-sighted misconceptions is essential for the progress in the accessibility revolution and to support day-to-day work on accessible web sites.

After completing this section, you should be able to:

  • Cite common myths about and objections to accessibility.
  • Judge and refute negative myths and objections to accessibility.
  • Present evidence and examples that debunk myths and support reasons for accessibility.

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Deque University

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Accessibility benefits only as a small minority

Checklist - Deque

Accessibility benefits only as a small minority

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Download Summary & Checklist

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Tips & Tricks

Myth: Accessibility Benefits a Small Minority
Truth: Accessibility Benefits a Wide Variety of People

  • People with disabilities make up 20% of the population
  • Design with accessibility in mind
  • Think specifically about people with disabilities
  • Benefits of accessibility extend far beyond disabilities
  • Also make it good for people on mobile devices
  • Also for people with different browsers
  • Also for different brands of computers
  • Also for older browsers or computers
  • Also better for people who are aging
  • Also better for people losing their eyesight
  • Also better for people losing their hearing
  • Also better for people losing their mobility
  • Also better for people losing their cognition

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Accessibility is a short term project

Checklist - Deque

Accessibility is a short term project

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Download Summary & Checklist

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Accessibility should be the last step

Checklist - Deque

Accessibility should be the last step

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Tips & Tricks

Myth: Accessibility Should be the Last Step
Truth: Designing for Accessibility is Much Easier (and Cheaper) than Retrofitting for Accessibility

  • Accessibility is not easy and trivial enough for the last minute of development
  • Bolt-on approach is extremely difficult with finished products
  • If ignoring people with disabilities, it may need a complete redesign
  • Leaving accessibility until the end can be very difficult and time-consuming
  • The whole scene will be a frantic mess, especially if the designers and developers still don't know enough about web accessibility to be able to do the job intelligently and efficiently.

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Accessibility is hard and expensive

Checklist - Deque

Accessibility is hard and expensive

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Download Summary & Checklist

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Tips & Tricks

Myth: Accessibility is Hard & Expensive
Truth: The Cost of Accessibility is Reasonable when Compared to the Cost of the Alternatives

  • Some people think accessibility is too much of a burden, so they avoid their responsibility
  • There's truth to this objection trying to retrofit an existing web site with lots of accessibility problems
  • At that point it's too late to reap the benefits of good planning
  • Starting with accessibility in mind will able to incorporate accessible design into every step of the process
  • Soon it will become second nature
  • It takes time to plan for it
  • It takes time to add accessibility features to the markup
  • It takes time to add accessibility features during the development phase of scripts
  • There will always be some cost associated with accessibility
  • All of this time costs money
  • But when compared to the cost of trying to retrofit for accessibility the costs are not as bad as they may seem at first

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Accessibility is ugly

Checklist - Deque

Accessibility is ugly

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Tips & Tricks

Myth: Accessibility is Ugly
Truth: Accessible Web Sites Can Be Stunningly Beautiful

  • Designs for people with disabilities can be just as beautiful (or as ugly) as designs for anyone else, that part is up to you
  • Lots accessibility features are invisible
  • Create a single design that looks beautiful, and which also happens to be accessible
  • Check out the Good / Bad site to see a possible difference for yourself

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WCAG Annotations

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