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The Main Principles of Accessible Web Content

February 8, 2022

If you are just getting started with web accessibility or are new to the space, understanding the underlying principles that make up the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is crucial to your success. These ideas not only provide guidance along the way but allow you to determine whether or not an issue you face impacts accessibility.

In this four-part series, we explore the basic principles that make up creating accessible web content and share examples of experiences from our own projects that fit each principle.

What is POUR?

The acronym POUR, used in accessible content documentation standardized by WCAG and often found on sites like the WebAIM guidelines for website accessibility, stands for the words perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.

While having a website that is technically accessible is highly important, ensuring that these principles are followed allows your content to go beyond simply being accessible to users. Instead, the site is created in an intentional manner that doesn’t just check boxes, but leads to an experience anyone can enjoy regardless of ability.

Why You Should Care About Accessible Web Content? 

Accessibility should be on the minds of stakeholders at enterprise organizations not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it opens up their content to a world of users that might not otherwise access it. 

For instance, sighted users might gain access to information from your images, tables, or graphics, but a user with low vision or no vision could lose out on that information if accessibility isn’t considered. Applying the POUR principles of accessibility would allow for all users to access information through properly tagged tables and images that have alternative text to give users an idea of what the images convey. This is especially important if your content shares information like what items in an ecommerce site look like or what materials are made of so that the user orders the right item. 

Depending on your industry, your website may have to meet certain accessibility requirements. For government or education websites, for instance, there are specific guidelines that must be followed to avoid penalties. Even in private businesses, accessibility lawsuits that occur and are filed in both state and federal court are increasing each year. The rise of these cases shows the importance of keeping web content accessible. Accessibility impacts not only your bottom line but your reputation as well.

Learn How Mediacurrent Champions Accessibility

From audits and remediation to supporting your accessibility efforts, Mediacurrent is here to help your organization build accessible content. Learn about our accessibility team and what we can do for you.

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