What is Web Accessibility?

The World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) defines web accessibility as people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web.

Web accessibility is the practice of removing barriers and maintaining equal access to the interaction and content of a website for people with a diverse range of abilities. It is Tim Berners-Lee (1997), W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web, who stated that “the power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”

Making the web more accessible is gaining world-wide momentum in web design and development. Standards create a conceptual framework for an equal digital environment. Policies and practices are what bring standards to life by integrating them into systems and processes. The W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 are the current standard that most of the world follows.

Web accessibility focuses on making websites accessible to people of all different abilities. It is based on the theoretical understanding that if a website is designed and developed using current worldwide standards and guidelines, then the information of the site can be accessed by all equally. But there is more to accessibility than strict conformance to standards.


Introduction to Web Accessibility. (2005, February 1). W3C Web Accessibility Initiative. Retrieved March 8, 2014, from http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/accessibility.php