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A significant percentage of the population, however, have disabilities (e.g. loss of limbs, visual impairment, etc.), limited accessibility (e.g. they have no computers, only cell phones or vice versa), or other barriers that can make accessing, navigating, or reading content on your site difficult.
In fact, over a billion people worldwide are affected by disabilities. Where most of us take for granted the fact that we can open our laptops or pull out our smartphones and enjoy limitless access to information, communication, commerce, and entertainment, those living with disabilities in a digital world experience many challenges, limitations, and barriers.
Even as this guide is being written, much of the digital world is still unaware of accessibility issues.
Did you know for example that we recently celebrated the tenth annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day?
Or that each year, the WebAIM initiative at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University conducts an evaluation of homepages for the top 1 million websites and that according to their 2021 WebAIM Million Report, 97% of those pages had failures of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, with an average of 51.4 errors per page?
Human rights laws exist to protect human diversity in a digital environment. This is where web compliance with accessibility laws, standards, and guidelines come into play.
WCAG Compliance – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level AA provides the disability community with the most widely accepted technical requirements for web accessibility and a barrier-free experience.
ADA Compliance – The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against disabled American individuals. Even though it is primarily aimed at public businesses and there is a lack of clear accessibility guidelines, Title III of the ADA requires places with public accommodations and commercial facilities to be accessible to people with disabilities, including web-based and mobile applications.