The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a US law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, enacted in 1990 under the presidency of George H. W. Bush. The bill passed before the Internet was even invented, therefore could not specifically address the issue of website accessibility.
Section 508 refers to a US law that requires federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. The law was enacted in 1998 as an amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Screen reader compatibility refers to the ability of a website or software to be accessed and used effectively by people who rely on screen readers. Screen readers are software programs that read out the contents of a computer screen to users who are blind or visually impaired, allowing them to navigate and interact with digital content using only their keyboard or a braille display.
Alt text optimization is the process of ensuring that all images on a website have descriptive and accurate alternative text (also known as Alt Text) that can be read by screen readers and other assistive technologies. Alt Text is used to provide a textual alternative to images for users who are visually impaired or otherwise unable to view the image content.
WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. These are a set of international guidelines developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that provide a technical standard for web accessibility. These guys invented the Internet, hence their high reputation and major status as standard setters.
Inclusive design is an approach to web accessibility that seeks to create products and services that are accessible and usable by the broadest possible audience, including people with disabilities. The concept of inclusive design recognizes that everyone has different needs and preferences, and seeks to accommodate those differences through design.
An accessible design for a website means that the website is designed and developed in a way that makes it usable and understandable for people with disabilities. This includes people with visual, auditory, physical, cognitive, and neurological disabilities.
In the web accessibility field we hear a lot about assistive technology. But people without disabilities will be mostly ignorant about what assistive technology actually is, as well as what constitutes assistive technology. So let us break down for you the meaning of assistive technology, how important it is, and what your role, as the providers of goods and services to individuals with impairments, is for compatibility with assistive technologies.
Web accessibility is a complex issue, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, here are some general steps that you can take from a business perspective to approach the issue of web accessibility: