In the society of information, it is necessary to eliminate those barriers to favour the equality of opportunities; if they are not eliminated, we are impeded that disabled people can access information and e-services.
Totana’s Town Council’s compromise is to get the Accessibility Level “AA”, established according to the accessibility test TAW. Nowadays, we are working in order to get that level on all the pages that form the web site of Totana’s Town Council.
That accessibility is not only an advantage for disabled people (physical, psychic or sensory) but also for all the users in general.
The main advantages are:
Making possible disabled people and old people’s access.
The accessibility of web pages was created to improve the access of disabled people to web contents. Nevertheless, that application includes some advantages for old people. Getting old means to lose cognitive capabilities and skills, which produce, for example, some difficulties to understand some contents or to handle some devices.
Increase the usability
The accessibility and the usability are two concepts that are linked. Some concepts such as ergonomics interfaces, easy handling, efficiency, simplicity are used in both disciplines. So, we can say that accessible web sites are also more usable.
Regarding with that principle of usability, it has been worked in order that Totana’s Town Council ‘s Web has an easy use, in order that citizens access its contents in a quick and direct way. The web counts on an average of two clicks.
Simplicity of development.
Some conditions or technical requirements, which are recommended to get the accessibility, get the improvement of development processes. For example the use of CSS (cascading style sheets) to separate the presentation of contents, or the use of web standards make quicker later maintenances of the Web.
Improvement of the indexation
In general and to make possible a later research, the web contents are indexed by agents. For example, multimedia contents. An image with an alternative text can be indexed effectively for the web-browsers.
Making easier the independence and the inter-operability.
In general, it can be said that a Web which reaches a good level of accessibility, can be watched on a personal computer, on a laptop, or on a television, for example.
Improvement of the general access.
As we said before, the improvement of the usability, navigation, etc..., related to accessibility, constitute some value which benefit all the web-users. So, the accessibility cannot be considered only as some requirements for a concrete group of people, but also some improvements for Web’s quality in general.
Likewise, it does not oblige to use a only device, for example the mouse, but it lets use other means to interact, such as the keyboard.
IMPROVING THE ACCESS TO CONTENTS
An accessible design lets users adjust the text size. Depending on the used web-browser, that action is realized as following :
Mozilla Firefox: View > Text Size > Increase
Internet Explorer: View> Text size > Bigger
An accessible design lets deactivate the web’s visual style to access to the contents in a only column.
Another function of some web-browsers is to adapt the presentation to the users’ needs, selecting a personal style sheet. The action can be realized as following in the main web-browsers:
Mozilla Firefox: View > Style > without style
Internet Explorer: Tools> Internet Options> Accessibility