Misconceptions about Web Accessibility

Despite the best efforts of so many web accessibility champions, there still exist many misconceptions – and much misunderstanding – about what it all means.

Just this week, I had a conversation with a colleague who needed to include accessibility in the scope of the project. “We need to make the site accessible to blind people (his words) but I can’t find any information on how to do it. Do I need a separate style sheet? There’s a login screen on the site. Can you help us fix the site before it’s launched?”

After giving my colleague a very brief overview of web accessibility, sharing a few links to resources and agreeing to help, I realized that this conversation wasn’t unusual.

This developer is well-versed in HTML, CSS and the like. He’s also a busy guy with lots of projects on the go. Setting aside time for researching the ins and outs of accessibility is not a top priority. Experts in web accessibility need to get better at providing high-level information to folks like him to make the learning easy – and, yes I’ll say it – accessible.

There is plenty of information available to anyone interested in learning about accessibility. That doesn’t mean it’s useful or practical. It’s time to start bringing web accessibility back to the basics.