Accessible Web Design for People with Disabilities

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Preventing Societal Discrimination:
 Accessible Web Design for People with Disabilities

http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/events/luncheon/2011/11/lazar

Jonathan Lazar, Towson University


Technical standards already exist to make web sites accessible for people with perceptual and motor disabilities, while research is underway to better understand web design for cognitive disabilities. Despite the existing resources and knowledge, many categories of web sites continue to be inaccessible for people with perceptual and motor disabilities. For instance, over 90% of federal government web sites are inaccessible for people with disabilities, denying users access to important government information. Social media tools tend to be inaccessible, cutting people with disabilities out of the chance to socialize with friends and contribute to important discussions, both interpersonal and societal. E-commerce web sites are inaccessible, often meaning that people with disabilities are denied the online-only discounts available on the web. Online employment applications are often inaccessible, denying people with disabilities the ability to apply for jobs on an equal footing. This presentation will provide an overview of web accessibility for people with disabilities, including the technical standards and laws, as well as reporting on recent research projects documenting how inaccessible web sites lead to various forms of discrimination against people with disabilities.


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