Nighthawk Marketing helps companies and organization ensure that people with disabilities have access to the same digitally-based services and content that are available to people without disabilities. Digital content should provide similar functionality, experience, and information access to individuals with disabilities as it provides to others.
Many people with disabilities use “assistive technology” to enable them to use computers and access the internet. Blind people who cannot see computer monitors may use screen readers – devices that speak the text that would normally appear on a monitor. People who have difficulty using a computer mouse can use voice recognition software to control their computers with verbal commands. People with other types of disabilities may use still other kinds of assistive technology.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) sets the main international standards for the internet and its accessibility. Most W3C work revolves around the standardization of web technologies, such as HTML, XML, CSS, etc. They follow processes that promote the development of high-quality standards and recommendations based on the consensus of their membership, team, and public.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) was developed through the W3C process to provide a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally. WCAG 2.1 is a most updated technical standard with 12 guidelines that are organized under 4 principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. For each guideline, there are testable success criteria, which are at three levels: A (must support), AA (should support), and AAA (may support).
The US Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was amended in 1986 and again in 1998 to include all information technology, including computer hardware, software, and documentation. These amendments, known as Section 508, also created enforcement measures to mandate compliance for websites, documents, and applications developed with US Federal funding or for US government agencies.