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University of Winnipeg/Online Reading & Writing - ORaWiki/Technology and Access

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Technology and Access

Discussions surrounding the responsibility of creating WebPages that can be easily accessed by a large portion of the population, is emerging more into the public sphere. This includes who’s responsible for creating web pages that can be accessed by people with disabilities, as well as the social responsibility to not disable the users by creating unequal advantages among them. This topic also focuses on the way the internet uses male-oriented discourse as well as people who cann not have access based on economic or geographical reasons. It is important to take into consideration the barriers that web pages may impose on people and the extent to which accommodations are integrated into a web site. Web accessibility benefits everyone from the user who can navigate with more ease to the site creators whose goal is to attract as many people to their site as possible. Please read “Social Factors in Developing a Web Accessibility Business Case for your Organization” for more information.

It is difficult to make a website accessible to everyone due to time, space and budget restraints, so it is important to consider the needs of your target audience, keeping in mind that the creators should take responsibility and not exclude potential members based on their varying abilities. After all, the internet overlaps with the physical world to such a degree (which largely manipulates the environment to integrate a diverse range of people) that ignoring web accessibility in certain circumstances is discrimination. In this case it might be the government’s duty to help with support and funds in order to make this a more feasible goal for site creators. This leads to issues surrounding the extent to which people want government influence and presence in the virtual world which has a huge democratic potential.

--Kimania 23:40, 24 November 2006 (UTC)


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