2004 Conference Proceedings

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UNIVERSAL DESIGN AND WEB ACCESSIBILITY: UNEXPECTED BENEFICIARIES

Presenter(s)
Terry Thompson
AccessIT
Box 355670
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
Voice 206/221-4168
TTY 206-685-3648
Email: tft@u.washington.edu

There are many examples in society of innovations that were originally intended for people with disabilities, but that have provided access benefits to everyone. Curb cuts and automatic door openers are common examples from the built environment. There are many additional examples from the World Wide Web.

A formal definition of universal design is "the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design" (Center for Universal Design). When applied to the Web, this practice results in web content that is accessible to the broadest possible audience, including people with a wide range of abilities and disabilities who access the web using a variety of input and output technologies. The following are a few examples of how universal web design benefits all users:

As advocates continue to work toward educating and advocating for an accessible Web, universal web design that benefits all users strengthen their arguments. This presentation will include a detailed examination of the benefits described above, and will include demonstrations of how web sites are rendered using a variety of input and output technologies.

References

Center for Universal Design (nd). What is universal design? Retrieved September 24, 2003, from http://www.design.ncsu.edu/cud/univ_design/ud.htm


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