Web accessibility is the idea that every person who has access to the Internet can view, browse, interact, and understand the same content. Just as curb cuts and automatic door openers provide physical access to our facilities, accessible web sites and on-line learning provide access to our online community.
The concept of creating an accessible web site means designing for the widest range of people's abilities. Not all web page visitors are using the standard browsers. Some use adaptive technologies such as screen readers or text-based browsers, have their browser graphics turned off, or may not be able to use a mouse or keyboard. Some users also have physical or cognitive disabilities that impact their use of a web page. Accessible web pages can also help PDAs or phones browse the web.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 19.3% of the nation’s population, or approximately 50 million people, have disabilities. A Harris Poll from June 2000 found that 43% of those, over
21,000,000 Americans with disabilities, are online.*
Providing equivalent access to electronic and information technology to all students, faculty, and staff is required by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and California SB302.
Southwestern College is endeavoring to make its web site as accessible as possible to all, in line with recommendations issued by the Web standards, W3C.
Following these guidelines will help to ensure that your web pages are more accessible to users with diverse abilities.