e-point specialists have completed a course entitled: ”How to create Accessible Websites”. The scope of the training was to teach how to develop websites which cater for the needs of digitally excluded users.
According to the report prepared by the Senate Bureau of Research and Documentation disability-related digital exclusion might be a problem for as much as 3,6 percent of Poles who don’t use the Internet. Another important barrier is age and the problems which go along with it. This includes decrease or loss of vision and the deterioration of motor skills. Only 15 percent of Polish seniors (above the age of 65) regularly use the Web.
Caring for the needs of users for whom tapping into the Internet’s vast resources is limited due to health related problems, age or disability, e-point’s specialists underwent training in web accessibility. The training was organized by the Widzialni Foundation whose statutory goal is to fight digital exclusion.
The base of user experience
Accessibility is defined as being able to provide wide access to information for as many users as possible, despite age, level of disability and available hardware and software. The goal of the course was to present methods of enabling easy and comfortable Internet use to people suffering from blindness, hearing impairment or having any other form of disability.
“The training was extensive and it shed a lot of light on the problems that handicapped people face while attempting to tap into online resources. The training showed us how they manage and what tools they use.” – said O. Pietrewicz, Senior Frontend Software Engineer – “We had the opportunity to learn the ways in which a website can be improved and how to increase its accessibility in accordance to the WCAG 2.0. guidelines.”
61 steps to achieve full web accessibility
Przemysław Marcinkowski, who conducted the training, enumerated the criteria that have to be met for a website to be considered accessible. There are 4 main principles: perception, clarity, functionality and reliability. This means that a website has to provide easy and clear access to content and be easy to interact with. The course also familiarized e-point’s specialists with the right software, which include programs that read out website contents.
“Nowadays, what matters most in the development of a website is the aesthetics. Let us not forget that the appearance of a page is added value which can’t exist without the content. ‘Creating Accessible Websites in accordance to WCAG 2.0 guidelines’ taught us the techniques of improving web accessibility for the disabled. ” – said E. Dybowska, Front-End Developer – But the more important lesson was that problems with accessibility are common and that the blind and the deaf are not the only groups that have to face difficulties. The elderly, the tired, or people working in badly lit areas are also at a disadvantage. I think the training was valuable and meaningful. I also think that the participants are now eager to implement the presented standards in future projects.
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