The Najman Web Accessible Site Primer

For small to medium businesses and charities

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Intro: about 'accessibility'

If you're a small to medium business or charity and you have a wide target audience you will benefit from having an accessible site.

To say that a web site is accessible is to say that all users can interact with the site, regardless of whether they are using a mouse, keyboard or some form of assistive technology*|.

In addition to addressing the widest possible audience your pages will download much faster than if you had a 'normal' site. Furthermore, your site will be fully searchable by search engines (Google, Yahoo, Lycos) because implementing accesibility principles in site design removes barriers from anyone, including:

and anything, including:

...accessing your site.

Disability Discrimination Act

A further benefit to making your site accessible is that it will comply with the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act. The act is still not completely clear as to how it applies to web sites although new legislation comes into force from October 2004. More information...|


Assistive technology

"...assistive technologies include screen readers, screen magnifiers, speech synthesizers, and voice input software that operate in conjunction with graphical desktop browsers (among other user agents). Hardware assistive technologies include alternative keyboards and pointing devices."
Source: World Wide Web Consortium|

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Short for Cascading Style Sheets, a feature that gives more control over how pages are displayed. With CSS, designers can create style sheets that define how different elements, such as headers and links, appear. These style sheets can then be applied to any web page.

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A programming language for use in web pages that allows the use of dynamic (interactive) content. It is dependent on users having the javascript compiler turned on. For this reason it is recommended that you keep javascript to a minimum on your site, and always provide an alternative means of carrying out the function it performs.

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Search engine Spider

A computer program used by search-engines to access Web sites and gather their content for search engine indexes.

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