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Queen's University

Web Standards and Accessibility Guide

Universal accessibility

Universal accessibility is more than web pages for blind people; universally accessible web sites are those whose content is available to all users, regardless of the technology they use, their physical or educational capacity, and/or their experience. Developing universally accessible web sites assumes nothing and presumes only that each user's experience is unique. It strives, therefore, to ensure that, despite the uniqueness of the individual's user experience, the essence of the information being conveyed remains intact. Creating accessible web sites need not be hard; accessible web sites do not have to be boring or bland; accessible web sites benefit not only users with disabilities, but are of benefit to all users.

Accessibility issues

  • Visual impairments: can range from total blindness, to low vision, reduced vision (near sightedness/far sightednesss), as well as colour blindness, etc.
  • Mobility impairments: may describe paraplegics/quadriplegics, persons with arthritis, Parkinson's, cerebral palsy, etc., extreme youth, extreme age, or temporary conditions (sprained or broken arm, hand, etc.).
  • Auditory impairments: can include total or partial hearing loss, noisy environments or those which require silence, appliances without sound-cards and/or speakers.
  • Cognitive impairments: can range from severe learning disabilities to low literacy skills, dyslexia, and cultural and language differences.
  • Technological variations: addresses the entire range of technologies, from older equipment, software, and poor connectivity, to cutting-edge appliances (the latest computers on any of the various platforms, cell phones, pda's ) and alternative browsers.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000