One of the slides I used for the Web-Writing Webinar on 11 April asked the question:
Users with accessibility or usability issues. Who are they?
The answer was:
All of us.
We all at one time or another (indeed eventually) become less able: you fall and sprain your wrist, get repetitive strain injury, you get older and your eye-sight deteriorates.
I got a taste of this myself at the gym the other day. One of the exercises involved throwing a medicine ball to a partner. I caught the ball awkwardly, and it hit my finger at a painful angle. It was the middle finger of my left hand, so not vital for using the mouse or the arrow or tab keys. But it slowed down my typing quite a bit for the day.
The moral of the story is: if you’re thinking of creating a new website or revamping your existing one, make sure it’s accessible for users with impaired abilities. Who sooner or later could be yourself, unless you’re lucky enough to sail through life unscathed by medicine balls or any other fiendish gym apparatus.
The webinar, by the way, can still be viewed through the eCPD Webinars website.
By Marian Dougan