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A11y Accessibility - What is A11y?

January 14 , 2018
What is A11y? A11y is another way of writing the word ‘accessibility’. It’s an abbreviated version for the Internet and social media world to make it easier to write.
‘A’ is the first letter; there are 11 letters in-between, and ‘y’ at the end. A11Y is what is known as a numeronym, somewhat similar to an acronym. Essentially, numbers are used in place of letters to achieve the desired result. You may be familiar with other numeronyms, such as “K-9” for “Canine” or “W3C” for “World Wide Web Consortium”.
One of the motivations for a numeronym is the limited space available on social media platforms for posting content. For example, on Twitter - where the character limit was 140
- by replacing the hashtag #accessibility with #a11y, the author now has another 9 characters available to them. Easily enough for another one or two important words on the subject of accessibility.

Accessibility (a11y) is a measure of a computer system`s accessibility to all people, including those with disabilities or impairments. It concerns both software and hardware and how they are configured in order to enable a disabled or impaired person to use that computer system successfully.
Accessibility is also known as assistive technology.

Accessibility refers to how software or hardware combinations are designed to make a system accessible to persons with disabilities, such as:

  • Visual impairment
  • Hearing loss
  • Limited dexterity
  • And more

A11y compliance are global, and as a business, it is important to know if you are A11y compliant, specially with the new regulations like Section 508 or Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the USA, or the European Union Law EU 301549

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Nowadays, not only the access to digital content has become a part of our daily lives, it has been also stated as a fundamental right. Not being able to access the Internet for disability reasons is simply a factor of discrimination, even a social and professional exclusion!
In that matter, the worldwide-known Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (or WCAG), ensure that all companies follow its strict Standards that meet the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally.

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Do you want to expand your revenue stream and do some good for the world in process?

People with disabilities (PWD), estimated at 1.3 billion, form a market the size of China. Together with their friends and family, acting on their emotional connection, PWD hold over $8 Trillion in annual disposable income. With the elderly population, a group with the biggest share of the national wealth, adding to this number, this is a market that can’t be ignored.

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