Essential Components of Successful Web Accessibility
There are several components which are required when creating a website which is accessible by everyone regardless of physical abilities of a person, the device used to access the website as well as the location and language of the user. These components usually work holistically by supporting the functions of each individual component so that they can output the desired results with minimal errors and without disadvantaging any particular user. They include;
Content. Content include any information that a web master posts on a web page or on a web application such as text information, images and other multimedia as well as the markup or coding information which gives a particular structure to a web page.
User’s output agents. These are the tools and platforms which are used to access a web page, decode and present the information to the end user in a format which can be interpreted and understood by the end user such as web browsers which are used to access web pages or web media players which can help play videos or audio files posted on a web page.
Assistive tools. These are special tools which are designed to help user’s who may have limited abilities when accessing a web page such as people with mobility problems, visual impairment, cognitive problems etc. Some of these special tools include Screen magnifiers, screen readers, alternative keyboards etc.
Authoring tools. These are soft-wares of computer applications which are sued to create websites and web pages including the tools which are used to create content such as computer office suites or applications for recording audio and videos and editing images.
Evaluation tools. These are tools which are used to validate the content and specific operations on a web page and ensure that the end users get the correct output of information. They include HTML validations, CSS validations etc.
Users and developers. Users are tasked with accessing web pages and there experience level, knowledge and adaptive strategies will determine how accessible and useful content on a web page is to them.
Developers are the designer, coders or webmasters who create websites and author content on them.
The functions of these components are interrelated and at times interdependent hence when creating a website which is accessible to every user, then all these components should be factored in the creation of the site so that accessibility is well achieved.
Therefore during implementation of one component to enhance accessibility, all features should be made accessible to encourage other component to enhance accessibility too. For instance if assistive technology is implemented on a site, it will call for the developers to implement authoring tools which make the accessibility feature work well and also browsers and other web application which organize and format content in a manner to support the assistive technology.