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What is A11Y Accessibility?

First, why A11Y?

A11Y, pronounced like Ally stands for accessibility. Simply put there are 11 letters between the A and Y in accessibility. This is known as a numbernym and is quite common within technology when terms are written down often.

What is accessibility?

Accessibility is the design of services, products, environments and experiences with for people who experience disabilities. Digital accessibility is split into two main areas

  • Web Accessibility covers websites, online applications and a variety of media to ensure they can be accessed and used by people with disabilities.
  • Technology Accessibility ensure hardware, software and consumer products are accessible to people with disabilities.

Why does digital accessibility matter?

1. Inclusive Experiences

Tim Berners-Lee, considered the official inventor of the internet, worked on and helped introduce the first standards for digital accessibility - this supports the principle that the internet should be accessible and considered public space.

Internationally, support for inclusion of people with disabilities has become a matter of legal compliance. For example the following entities have legal mandates for a baseline of accessibility:

  • United States, with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).
  • Canada, with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
  • European Union, with the EN 301 549

Many countries adopt a WCAG2.2 compliance standard, with Europe, Australia and Canada all adopting standards similar to EN 301 549.

3. Economic Benefits

With over 1 billion people with disabilities world-wide the average population includes 15% of people with some form of disability at least. This accounts for a market of $6 Trillion (USD).

Discover how your website stacks up

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