What Is Accessibility and Why It's Important?

A photo of two teammates collaborating


Let’s talk about INTERNET. It is a crucial part of our daily lives, serving as a gateway to information, communication, and opportunities in our interconnected world.

However, it's important to understand that not everyone experiences the Internet in the same way. Users have diverse needs, preferences, and abilities, and it's critical to accommodate this variety to ensure that our content is accessible to all.

What exactly does accessibility stand for? 

Accessibility is about creating an inclusive and easy-to-navigate environment for everyone, regardless of their abilities. This involves the removal of barriers. Prioritizing accessibility makes digital platforms more user-friendly, enabling people with disabilities to actively engage in everyday activities. 

The goal is to provide an accessible internet for all, facilitating access to information, communication, and online activities, including e-commerce. By following accessibility principles, we are creating a more inclusive and equitable online experience.

Please remember, that access itself is not the only thing that matters

Web accessibility ensures everyone can fully use websites. It's not just about accessing content, but also about making it understandable and user-friendly.

Just to make things a bit clearer, let me give you an example:

Color-blind or visually impaired users may struggle with instructions to click a green icon. While assistive technologies like screen readers can describe an icon's function, they can't identify colors. Therefore, effective website design must consider these factors, enabling all users to interact efficiently and effectively.

Join me for a tour of the library

If you're just starting to explore accessibility, understanding it fully might be challenging, and that's okay. Let me help clarify this with a library analogy. Just follow along with an open mind as I explain the concept.

Are we ignoring the needs of 1.3 billion people?

Let me share some data from the WHO website. According to their statistics, approximately 1.3 billion people experience significant disability. This represents 16% of the global population, which equates to one in every six people.

Situational and temporary disabilities

It's important to realize that accessibility solutions aren't only for those with permanent disabilities. Temporary or situational circumstances can also require accessible alternatives on a website. Let's once again dive into some examples.

Now, consider this: if your website isn't accessible, how many people might struggle to navigate it or interact with it effectively?

This potential lack of accessibility not only poses an issue in terms of inclusivity but could also limit the reach and impact of your content, reduce site traffic, and slow business growth. Therefore, it's crucial to ensure your website is accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities.

Reasons to include accessibility in your plans

Since you have reached the end of this article, I’m sure the above examples have highlighted the importance of accessibility for your website. Let's summarize them.

Moral reasons

Inclusivity for all. As we want to ensure that all users can access websites equally, we are responsible for delivering all the necessary available features to make this possible.

Business reasons

In June 2025, the European Accessibility Act will come into force. The Act is also known as Directive 2019/882 and says that some everyday products and services need to be usable for people with disabilities. This covers, for example, websites and e-commerce platforms. Companies that sell these products and services have to carefully check the laws and rules in their own countries that bring the European Accessibility Act into effect.

Why invest in accessibility – summary

An accessible service is easy to use for everyone, no matter if they have limitations. Making sure everything is accessible means we're creating something that's even better for all. Isn't that fantastic?

Think big, and go accessible ;)