Is accessibility for people with disabilities only?


#1

As mostly best practices on the internet cover only a particular group of users.


#2

While accessibility is mainly concerned with making the web available to all despite any disabilities, not all disabilities are permanent. For example, a mother with a child in one arm and her phone in the other has a temporary impairment, functionally she only has the use of one arm / hand in this situation.

In the words of Microsoft’s Inclusive Design Manual, “Disability happens at the points of interaction between a person and society”. I would recommend reading more in-depth about this at MS’s inclusive design site https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/design/inclusive as they go into this more in-depth.


#3

Practising inclusive design, while mainly aiming at making your experience as accessible as possible to as many different people as possible, will take advantage of the “Curb Cut Effect”.

The Curb Cut Effect happens when a design pattern originally designed to make something accessible to a specific group of users will unexpectedly benefit another group.

An example I like to give (that is not the actual curb cut made for wheelchairs that benefitted cyclists and parents with a stroller, etc…) is the subtitles on tv via Teletext. Those were originally aimed at the audience with hearing problems, but those who live in the UK (and probably other countries, but I have no experience of that personally) will know that those are also used to allow people to watch TV and get what is said in noisy environments, or places where having the volume up is not an option.

Some would argue that Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa are a descendant of voice command originally designed for users with motor disability.

There are many examples, but in the end I would say that inclusive design benefits everyone.