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Accessible design issues

Craven, Jenny (2002) Accessible design issues. ISSN 0954-1829

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Abstract

The Internet provides a unique opportunity to widen access to information for everyone. The variety and levels of information provided online is vast and growing on a daily basis. Increasingly this may also be the only format that is readily available and for some people this can present a barrier in terms of access. Access can be problematic for people who cannot see or who cannot easily read text or graphics on-screen, as well as for people who have early versions of a web browser or a slow Internet connection. To ensure people are not excluded from the information society, access to information and the development of fully accessible web sites must be given a high priority. This briefing paper considers the concept of universal web design and how legislation now requires service providers to take steps to ensure barriers to access are removed. It will then look at how these barriers can be removed through the use of access technology and through adopting good practice methods in interface design, and finally highlight some of the technological developments emerging in the area of accessibility and design for all.

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