Who’s responsible for web accessibility?

It’s the web developer/designer right? Right? I mean, that’s what we’ve all been led to believe for a long time - it’s that person’s duty to make the web site accessible, isn’t it? Perhaps not.

Patrick Lauke, contributor to this site, wrote about this topic for .net magazine for their April edition, and the text has been re-published on his personal blog. Much like Patrick, the article is short but sweet. Actually, Patrick’s just short, but you get my drift.

Filed under: Accessibility
Posted by Ian on Wednesday, March 21, 2007


  1. So says JackP

    Ian - you’ve got a “%20″ at the end of the link you need rid of. It’s a nice little article, too.

    There’s two threads, really. Thread 1 is the user:
    i) The user agent (browser etc) the user is using to access the site should support accessibility features and make them easy to use
    ii) The user themselves should know how to ‘work’ their user agent.

    And thread 2 is the site:
    i) The site owner/commissioner needs to understand why accessibility is important, using PAS78 etc
    ii) The site developer then needs to ensure that their site doesn’t place barriers in the way of people using it.

    In practice however Thread 2 point ii) has been the most important because regardless of how well a user agent CAN perform, you’ll find some proportion of users won’t be using it properly, and clients often expect developers to look after the accessibility/usability aspects.

    I’m not saying that is RIGHT - because I agree with Patrick - just acknowledging the reasons behind it and saying that as DEVELOPERS there is only a certain amount we can do as regards the other strands, and that’s why maybe some of us go further than we should at times in offering features that are already available for people who know how their browsers work…

    …after all, there’s no minimum standard or driving licence required in order to drive on the information superhighway :-)

    Added March 21, 2007 at 10:00 am

  2. Delete space from the link. :-)

    Added March 21, 2007 at 10:01 am

  3. So says Ian Lloyd

    Damn those WYSIWYG editors. Rogue space is now gone.

    Added March 21, 2007 at 10:35 am

  4. So says Justin Thorp

    Patrick’s article is great! It is conceptually similar to the W3C WAI’s “Essential Components of Web Accessibility”[1] article, which is a great read.

    [1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/components.php

    Added March 21, 2007 at 1:37 pm

  5. I think that everything posted made a lot of sense.
    However, what about this? I mean, I don’t want to tell you how to run your blog, but you could peek at Yahoo’s front page and note how they create article headlines to get people interested. You might add a video or a pic or two to grab people excited about what you’ve got to say. In my opinion, it might make your posts a little bit more interesting.

    Added December 5, 2013 at 11:10 pm

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