Web Accessibility

The Web at a fundamental level is a highly accessible environment—the very nature of digital content lends itself to modification, re-presentation and enhancement which in turn allows users from diverse backgrounds, capacities and abilities to access content. Web accessibility has been codified into conventions and laws, but the essence of accessibility is in the understanding that inclusion is a central ethos in the development of web sites. The Web has the capacity to remove physical barriers and allow individuals to interact with others and participate to their fullest extent.

"The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect." Access to information and communication is now considered a basic human right as imbued by Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities," Tim Berners-Lee.

Putting Section 508 and web accessibility on the map

In 1998, The US Congress passed the Workforce Investment Act that strengthened Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 508). Section 508 stipulates that Federal agencies should develop, procure, maintain or use electronic and information technology so that Federal employees and members of the public with disabilities would have access to and use of information and data comparable to that of employees and members of the public without disabilities.

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