Since web accessibility subject has been thrown into the spotlight, a number of misconceptions have been circulated. These are truths behind web accessibility myths:
Creating a text-only equivalent of your site is sufficient
These are three reasons why relying only on a text-only version may not be enough
- Working on two sites represents a huge money and time investment
- If your primary site is down, normal users may wrongly assume that the text-only site is the primary one. This could hurt your credibility.
- Asking users with disability to use a separate site may make them feel marginalized from the mainstream society
Web accessibility is not just about allowing disabled people to access your site; it’s about making sure your site is accessible for everyone. Use only a single fully-accessible site.
Making a website accessible is expensive and complicated
Building a less-accessible and fully-accessible sites cost virtually the same if you build them from the scratch. A fully accessible site may take a bit more time and considerations to make, but you don’t need to change the basic design and layout. Web accessibility is not necessarily complicated and it’s easy to implement with basic web design skills.
Accessibility requirements stifle creativity
Web accessibility doesn’t put too many restrictions on website design. As a matter of fact, the only limitation is your imagination. Www.csszengarden.com is a good example for combining accessibility and creativity.
You can’t make an accessible site attractive
Unfortunately, many advocates of web accessibility have unattractive and dull websites. This is why this myth seems to be more prevalent. But again, the limit is your imagination. For example, an accessible website doesn’t put a restriction on image usage (provided you use alt texts) and text size (provided it can be resized). Accessibility adjustments happen behind the scene and they won’t affect the site presentation.
Assistive technology can solve accessibility problems
In recent years, a number of assistive technologies are developed to help disabled people to do things that we take for granted. Braille terminals, voice recognition, speech synthesis and other specialized input/output devices make life easier for people with disability. Some people believe that eventually more advanced toys can solve all accessibility problems. Unluckily though, it isn’t the case. Technology is limited by the information availability and accuracy. Even a specialized browser for blind people can’t read the web owners’ mind.
Web accessibility is not as complex as brain surgery. It’s about allowing everyone to access your site, not just disabled people, but also those with technical limitations such as slow or expensive Internet access or those using non-computer devices, such as feature phones. People with rudimentary basics on HTML and CSS design can easily implement and learn web accessibility.