Introduction to Accessibility
More than 15% of the world’s population is suffering from some form of disability. Products and services that are not accessible are unreachable to this large population. Accessibility is now a global issue.
Digital Accessibility enables individuals with disabilities, to make use of digital products and services. An accessible design is one which allows both direct access and indirect access, meaning, it is compatible with the assistive technology used by the disabled individual.
Assistive Technology is any equipment, software or product that helps the disabled individual to maintain, increase or improve their functional capabilities. Braille and screen readers are two of these technologies that are used by visually impaired individuals.
Braille, named after its creator Louis Braille, is a system of raised dots that can be read with the use of fingertips, by people who are partially or completely blind. Another assistive technology known as a screen reader is a software application that tries to identify and interpret what is being displayed on the screen and converts it into synthesized speech for the person. Some of the most used screen reading software is JAWS – Job Access With Speech & NVDA – Non Visual Desktop Access.
Laws, Regulations & Guidelines around the world
The Government of most countries are now adopting laws and guidelines to support accessibility issues. People with disabilities are being given the chance to contribute to the society just like any other responsible citizen.