As more information is made available via social media channels, in order to reach the largest audience and maximize reach and effectiveness, the content published must be as accessible as possible. About 20% of the population is estimated to have disabilities including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological disabilities (www.digitalgov.gov/). The more accessible the content, the more people it can reach.
According to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), content should be made perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust. They define these four principles as follows;
- Perceivable – Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive. This means that users must be able to perceive the information being presented (it can’t be invisible to all of their senses)
- Operable – User interface components and navigation must be operable. This means that users must be able to operate the interface (the interface cannot require interaction that a user cannot perform)
- Understandable – Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable. This means that users must be able to understand the information as well as the operation of the user interface (the content or operation cannot be beyond their understanding)
- Robust – Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies. This means that users must be able to access the content as technologies advance (as technologies and user agents evolve, the content should remain accessible)