What is E-Accessibility?
Electronic accessibility, or E-Accessibility, is the ease of use by people with disabilities of information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as the Internet. Web sites need to be presented so that disabled users can access the information. For example:
- for people who are blind, web sites need to be interpreted by software programmes which read text aloud;
- for people who have low vision, web pages need adjustable sized fonts and sharply contrasting colours; and
- for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, audio content should be accompanied by text versions of the dialogue.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, prepared by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) provide some standards for web accessibility. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which came into force on May 3, 2008 draws attention to the need to ensure access to ICTs for persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others and will help to eliminate barriers to information, including through the Internet.
The use of ICTs, such as the Internet, is rapidly becoming an essential part of the economic, educational and social life of many people today. To ensure persons with disabilities have the same access to information, making sure that web sites can be used by all is essential.