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This refers to the ability to access the Web and its contents for all persons regardless of disability (physical, intellectual or technical) they have or arising from the context of use (technological or environmental). This quality is closely related to usability.

When websites are designed with accessibility in mind, all users can access the contents on equal terms. For example, when a site has a semantically correct XHTML code, an equivalent alternative text to images and links are given a meaningful name is provided, this allows blind users to use screen readers or Braille displays to access content. When the videos have subtitles, users with hearing difficulties can fully understand them. If the contents are written in a simple and illustrated with diagrams and language animations, users with dyslexia or learning disabilities are better able to understand them.


The limitations on the accessibility of Web sites include:

• Visual: In different degrees, from low vision to total blindness, besides trouble distinguishing colors (color blindness).

• Motor: Difficulty or inability to use the hands, including tremors, muscular slowness, etc, due to diseases like Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, amputations ...

• Auditory: Deafness or hearing impairments.

• Cognitive: Learning disabilities (dyslexia, dyscalculia, etc.) or cognitive disabilities that affect memory, attention, logic skills, etc.

If the text size is large enough, users with visual problems can read it without difficulty. Similarly, the size of the buttons or the appropriate active areas may facilitate its use for users who can not control the mouse precisely. If the actions that depend on a particular device (pressing a key, clicking with the mouse) the user can choose the device that suits.

Web Accessibility Guidelines

The highest body within the hierarchy of the Internet that is responsible for promoting accessibility is the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), especially its group Web Work Accessibility Initiative (WAI). In 1999 the WAI published version 1.0 of its Web Accessibility Guidelines. Over time they have become a reference internationally accepted. In December 2008 WCAG 2.0 was approved as an official recommendation.

These guidelines are divided into three blocks:


  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines  (WCAG). They are aimed at webmasters and suggest how to make the contents of the Web site accessible.

  • Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG). They are aimed at software developers who use webmasters, so that these programs facilitate the creation of accessible sites.

  •  User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG).They are aimed at developers of user agents (browsers etc.), so that these programs provide all users access to Web sites.