Accessibility, Usability, and Inclusion | Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) | W3C

Accessibility, Usability, and Inclusion

Introduction

Accessibility, usability, and inclusion are closely related aspects in creating a web that works for everyone. Their goals, approaches, and guidelines overlap significantly. It is most effective to address them together when designing and developing websites and applications.

There are a few situations when it’s important to focus specifically on one aspect. For example, when developing standards and policies. Researching the accessibility needs of people with disabilities helps with developing those.

This article briefly:

  • explains the distinctions and overlaps between accessibility, usability, and inclusive design,
  • encourages increased coordination across research and practice in these disciplines, and,
  • points out the importance of maintaining the focus of accessibility on people with disabilities.

Distinctions and Overlaps

Accessibility: addresses discriminatory aspects related to equivalent user experience for people with disabilities. Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can equally perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with websites and tools. It also means that they can contribute equally without barriers. For more information, see the Accessibility introduction.

Usability: is about designing products to be effective, efficient, and satisfying. Usability includes user experience design. This may include general aspects that impact everyone and do not disproportionally impact people with disabilities. Usability practice and research often [...]

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