What is Web Accessibility?

Web accessibility is the practice of designing and developing websites to be barrier-free, enabling people with disabilities to perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with web content.

When sites are correctly designed, developed, and edited, more users have equal access to information on them.

Who Does Web Accessibility Impact?

Web accessibility impacts a large and diverse group of people. Here are the numbers:

  • 27% of adults in the United States have some type of disability
  • 29% of adults in Georgia have some type of disability
  • Disability becomes more common with age, affecting 2 in 5 adults age 65 and older.

Considering those statistics, much of our audience is affected by how accessible (or inaccessible) our websites are.

(Sources: CDC: Disability Impacts All of Us and Disability & Health U.S. State Profile Data: Georgia)

Why Accessible Websites Matter

If we carelessly make inaccessible web pages, people with disabilities are denied equal access to the information, services, and programs provided on our websites. In this way, inaccessible websites are no different than a building that has stairs leading to its entrance, but no access ramp.

Web accessibility is a fundamental principle of inclusion and equal opportunity. In fact, it’s federal law that UGA Extension and CAES websites and digital content be accessible to individuals with disabilities.

(References: Section508.gov and USG.edu)

By making our web and digital content accessible, we can:

  • Broaden our reach to more audiences
  • Increase traffic to our websites
  • Optimize search ranking potential
  • Improve our websites and increase usability for all visitors
  • Generate positive PR and brand awareness
  • Demonstrate a commitment and care for people with disabilities
  • Comply with legislation to reduce legal liabilities
  • Protect the brand
  • Standardize web design, build and maintenance

What Can Content Managers Do for a More Accessible Website?

Achieving accessibility for your UGA Extension or CAES website not only relies heavily on design, but also content. To stay proactive about digital accessibility during content creation, read our articles:

Sign-Up for the Web Accessibility Course: