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Distinctive Design: A Practical Guide to a Useful, Beautiful Web by Alexander Dawson

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Bonus Chapter 3: Accessibility: Removing Disability

Making sites more distinctive for users with disabilities

Although much of web design centers on providing an equal experience for many users, visitors with disabilities often encounter a poorly constructed and considered experience. Accessibility has been a hotly contested issue that designers have needed to address for years. Designers must learn to maximize the usefulness of website content for every visitor.

In this chapter, you explore the five disability categories that can affect our visitor’s access to information. I cover physical conditions, intellectual issues, emotional disabilities, and social concerns. In addition, I highlight mechanical issues computers can suffer, relationships between disability and distinction, and considerations of chronic and acute conditions. I finish the chapter with an overview of the universal disability principle.

Some Physical Attributes

I’ve placed a great deal of focus on ways you can adapt your layouts to meet the needs of the many. In this chapter, you can think outside that box. You have another central goal — making your site accessible for people with disabilities. After all, the more people you enable to access your services, the wider the audience you stand to gain. Plus, it’s the right thing to do. Disability is rather ambiguous in its definition, depending on whom you ask. This chapter focuses on ways in which users may be hindered in their ability to use and benefit from ...

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