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Message Icon Topic: What is Accessibility?

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Riya
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Quote Riya Replybullet Topic: What is Accessibility?
    Posted: 17Feb2007 at 4:51pm



What is Accessibility?

Accessibility basically means that people with disabilities can use a product. More specifically, accessibility is making user interfaces perceivable, operable, and understandable for people with a wide range of abilities. It encompasses all disabilities, or functional limitations, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities. This includes temporary conditions, such as when you break your arm, or lose your glasses.

Accessibility also makes products more usable by people in a wide range of situations. Situational limitations come from circumstances, environments, and conditions, and can affect anybody—that is, people without disabilities as well. For example, situational limitations include using the Web on a mobile phone when your eyes are busy (such as driving), in bright sunlight, in a dark room, when your hands are full, in a quiet environment (where you don't want it to make noise), in a noisy environment (where you can't hear well), and in an emergency (when you may not be thinking clearly).

Thus, while access to people with disabilities is the primary focus of accessibility, it also benefits people without disabilities and organizations that develop accessible products because designing for functional limitations overlaps with designing for situational limitations.

For a more comprehensive introduction to web accessibility, including specific examples of how web accessibility benefits organizations and individuals, see the Understanding Web Accessibility book chapter.
Accessibility related to usability

Accessibility has a technical component and a user interface component. Accessibility of user interfaces can be approached through usability. International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9241-11 defines usability as the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals effectively, efficiency and with satisfaction in a specified context of use. [2] Accessibility focuses on including people with disabilities as the specified users and a wide range of situations, including assistive technologies, as the specified context of use.

Put more simply, usability means designing a user interface that is effective, efficient, and satisfying. Accessibility makes sure the user interface is designed to be effective, efficient, and satisfying for more people—especially people with disabilities, in more situations—including with assistive technologies.

    Accessibility is about designing user interfaces so that more people can use your product effectively in more situations. [3]

The relationship between accessibility and usability is discussed in more detail in "Distinguishing Between Accessibility and Usability Issues" in the Reporting Usability Testing chapter, and in the online resource The Relationship Between Accessibility and Usability.

The next section discusses adapting a User-Centered Design process to design accessible products.



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banunaik16
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Quote banunaik16 Replybullet Posted: 08Feb2008 at 4:52am
Hi Riya,
 
I need to do accessibility testing for my project.can u pls tell me some scenarios for doing accessibility testing.i mean checklist for accessibility testing.
 
Thanks,
Banu 
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