Internet for everyone: This is how to make a website accessible for people with disabilities
Yit, which develops and maintains over 50 huge websites including Ynet, Calcalist, Bigdeal and other, made all the websites accessible to all people with disabilities through a dedicated widget developed by Equalweb
Every day most of the people in the world surf the Internet without too much thinking, we enter, click and surf. But, until not long ago people with disabilities could not enjoy these basic things, because the text was too small or too dark, there were no video captions, and more. Therefore, it was decided in Israel to make a law that would allow everyone to be an integral part of the use of the Internet - the law of accessibility to websites that enforces websites owners to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities came into effect on October 25, 2017.
In order to be part of a company that cultivates its entire population and community, Yit, which develops and maintains over 50 huge sites including: Ynet, Calcalist, Bigdeal, Blazer, Winwin and more, decided to use Equalweb to adapt all the websites of the group.
"We see great importance in the issue of accessibility on the Internet and believe that the law is very vital and necessary," said Avi Sheetrit, CEO of Yit. "We conducted multiple tests with the company`s programmers, who conducted an in-depth examination of the many accessibility systems available in the market, and after these tests we decided to buy the Equalweb system, to accommodate all our challenges to the accessibility regulations. "
Adam Ikar, Equalweb`s CEO, explained that the system developed by the company enables accessibility to any website in a comprehensive and qualitative manner, without interfering with the source code of the site, in a relatively fast time and keeping the site accessible for a long time. He added that working with Yit was a challenge because of the need to make accessible a large number of big and complex websites in a short time. "We train and support the Yit development teams through our accessibility platform and a team of developers and accessibility experts of over 20 people who work together to implement this project for all the sites of the group."
As part of the accessibility process, a special toolbar was added to the sites, which is designed to help people with disabilities of various types to browse the site conveniently. For example, for blind and visually impaired the website is adapted to screen readers using a software that converts text content to human voice, and for people with motoric problems who cannot use the mouse they can now navigate with the keyboard.
In addition, for color blindness it was added the possibility to convert the color contrast on the site according to the needs of the users, and for patients with epilepsy there is now a possibility to block movement elements on the page in order not to encourage seizures. All these and other possibilities help more than 20% of the Israeli population - the percentage of people with disabilities in Israel.
"A person with disabilities is not only a person who is traveling in a wheelchair," said Ikar. There is a wide spectrum of disabilities of various degrees, over 20% of the population is defined with a disability, even a person who enlarges the content on the screen of the mobile device to read it, is considered a person that needs accessibility.
"In the context of websites, which are basic consumer products - from which we derive information, consume services, read content, shop, pay reports and do many other actions - the sites must be accessible to everyone, especially when a person with disabilities comes physically to the place where the service is provided, "added Ikar.
"In the past three years there has been a big increase in the awareness of the subject, and many websites have been made accessible, but most of the sites in Israel are still not fully accessible, and we still have a lot of work to do. Our system enables accessibility to any website, large and small, and in a very comprehensive and good way. It is our legal and moral obligation to act in order to make accessible as many websites as possible in Israel and around the world. We are pleased that Yit chose Equalweb and are happy to have a fruitful and successful cooperation that will enable anyone with disabilities to surf easily and efficiently at the country`s largest websites."