18-06-2022, by Ivo de Vink

Accessibility: What is an accessible app or website?

Imagine how difficult it is to find your way around the Internet if you have limited eyesight. Or if you can't use a keyboard, mouse or touchpad for certain reasons. You can imagine how difficult that is, when it is so important that information on the Internet is available to everyone. So how do we ensure that people with disabilities or impairments can also access our websites and web applications?

Digitoegankelijke apps
Blind man with mobile phone


The W3C, an organization that designs Web standards, has worked with experts and organizations around the world to develop a common international standard for Web accessibility. This standard is documented in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

This WCAG documentation explains how Web content can be made more accessible to people with various disabilities. "Web content" generally refers to the information on a Web page or Web application. You can think of text, images, sounds, navigation structure and code.

Benefits for people without disabilities

Making an app or Web site accessible to people with disabilities is, of course, more than reason enough in itself. But in addition, modifications for greater accessibility also offer benefits to people without disabilities. You can think of:

  • Using smartwatches, smart TVs, other devices with small screens or different input modes
  • Older people with reduced abilities due to aging
  • People with "temporary limitations," such as a broken arm or lost glasses
  • People who experience limitations due to the environment, such as bright sunlight or an environment where they cannot listen to audio
  • People with a slow or limited internet connection
Digitoegankelijkheid ook voor mensen zonder handicap
Elderly woman watches cell phone with daughter

Why an accessible app or site?

Accessibility is essential for developers and organizations that want to create high-quality websites and web applications, and not exclude people from using their products and services. So it is right that governments, for example, demand it as a standard. It also improves overall user experience and satisfaction and thus can help increase market reach.

Many aspects of accessibility are fairly simple to implement, making it well worth having a look at.

As a designer, I now have a lot of experience designing and developing accessible applications and websites. For example, I've successfully applied the WCAG accessibility guidelines to various websites for government, hospitals and other organizations.

Digitoegankelijke tool
Tool for the government

Checking and modifying existing apps and sites is often a relatively simple step that can go a long way.

In the next blog, I will write about what the standards in the WGAC are and how to implement them.

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