The basic premise behind website accessibility is that everyone should have equal access to information and functionality provided on the Internet.
When a website is designed and developed with accessibility in mind, it allows all individuals, including those with visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, neurological and other disabilities, the power to access it with assistive technology. This technology is comprised of inventions such as screen readers, Braille encoders, and even devices that can follow eye movement, replacing a keyboard and mouse. The technology advances each year but all users rely on websites to follow certain guidelines in order to work properly ("Accessibility", 2015, para. 1-2).
Tech4Impact has an action plan for creating accessible websites that follows the US Access Board's proposed Rule for 2015 and World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. Additionally, Tech4Impact provides Assistive Technology Assessments and Training which means we understand how individuals utilize assistive technology.
"The U.S. Access Board is a federal agency that promotes equality for people with disabilities through leadership in accessible design and the development of accessibility guidelines and standards for the built environment, transportation, communication, medical diagnostic equipment, and information technology." ("About", n.d., para. 1)
The board released "At-A Glance: The Access Board's Proposed Rule (2015) to Update Accessibility Requirements" to summarize the proposed changes ("At-A Glance", n.d.). This release indicates that, "The proposed rule would incorporate, by reference, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, a voluntary consensus standard developed by ICT industry representatives and other experts" ("At-A Glance", n.d.).
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 were created by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Their design principles as stated in their mission are Web for All and Web on Everything which states:
Web for All
The social value of the Web is that it enables human communication, commerce, and opportunities to share knowledge. One of W3C's primary goals is to make these benefits available to all people, whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure, native language, culture, geographical location, or physical or mental ability.
Web on Everything
The number of different kinds of devices that can access the Web has grown immensely. Mobile phones, smart phones, personal digital assistants, interactive television systems, voice response systems, kiosks and even certain domestic appliances can all access the Web ("W3C Mission", 2015).
Tech4Impact will employ web design techniques consistent with W3C's Web Accessibility. Whenever and/or Wherever website and/or its content is not accessible, Tech4Impact will work with clients to correct issues, create workarounds, and/or provide other manual methods to obtain content. To assist us in tracking any issues, contact forms regarding accessibility will be included at every website designed so that individuals who encounter an issue may report them directly to us.
About the U.S. Access Board. (n.d.). In United States Access Board. Retrieved from http://www.access-board.gov/the-board
Accessibility. (2015). In Bureau of Internet Accessibility. Retrieved from http://www.boia.org/Page/Accessibility/22
At-A Glance: The Access Board's Proposed Rule (2015) to Update Accessibility Requirements. (n.d.). In United States Access Board. Retrieved from https://www.section508.gov/sites/default/files/documents/access-board-proposed-rule-2015-accessible-final.pdf
W3C Mission. (2015). In World Wide Web Consortium. Retrieved from http://www.w3.org/Consortium/mission