Accessible internet sites – WAI

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The "Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)" presents a set of guidelines for the creation of internet sites to ensure that they are accessible. This area of expertise deals with the advantages, benefits and restrictions that accessible internet sites create for website operators. Please have a look at our page about the function set easy2see.

Websites – easy for everyone

For a number of years now, there have been two laws present in Austria which oblige website operators to make their web presence accessible. The E-Governement Law obliges all public institutions to adhere to WAI guidelines and the Disability Equality Law (Bundes-Behindertengleichstellungsgesetz) stipulates the obligations of private operators.

Making content accessible

The accessibility of websites is an important task: the content as well as the functions and transaction methods available on a website must be made accessible. This means that all people, irrespective of any potential disability, should be able to access the content and make use of all necessary functions. In the case of some content, it is clear that “alternative solutions” must be found to ensure accessibility. Text descriptions of pictures can be added to support blind users, and video films with subtitles of spoken text or picture-in-picture inserts using sign language can be implemented to support deaf users.

WAI guidelines

The WAI guidelines stipulate how content should be made accessible. A series of explanations and regulations on how specific technical elements should be implemented on the internet will assist you in making your content accessible to as many people as possible.

Contrast, size, subtitles and simple language

A number of both technical and content-related measures are necessary to ensure accessible internet sites. The basic principle is to always consider those affected and this may not always mean users with severe disabilities such as blindness or deafness, there are also other simpler factors that must be considered. Reduced linguistic ability or the inability to move the mouse to a specific part of the screen because the user’s hand shakes are just two examples.

100 % accessible internet sites – not possible.

Complete accessibility, per se, is generally not possible as there is no concrete benchmark. How big must a link be so that every user can click on it – even if their hand shakes? How must sentences be written so that both primary school children and foreigners who are only beginning to learn the language can understand?

It’s really about keeping up with trends: sites should be created in such a way that they use the most up-to-date programming technology and adhere to all applicable standards. By avoiding anything that could present an unnecessary barrier, site operators are already going a long way to ensuring accessibility.

Accessible internet sites – what now?

Would you like to find out more about accessible internet sites? Are you interested in how websites designed according to WAI guidelines can be successful? It’s your choice.

Then simply click: I want to find out more about accessible internet sites!