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Hello World – Welcome to AccessibleWeb

Peter Jewett here, I wanted to write a quick blog post welcoming you to AccessibleWeb.com, a new venture we’re getting off the ground with a big mission: to make the web accessible to everyone.

I was home in Maine over the Easter holiday this year, and was showing off some of my recent website development work to my mother-in-law. She’s been slowly losing her eyesight over the past few years and has had to learn to cope with the obvious side-effects; no more driving, using her phone as a flashlight to read restaurant menus, taking extra time to navigate in unfamiliar places, you get the idea.

As I was showing her my most recent work on her home computer, I realized that I hadn’t ever seen a visually impaired person use a web browser, and we got to talking.  I had never considered that the default blue text used for links might be hard to see.  I had never considered that fonts should be sized so they scaled uniformly, even when someone was viewing text 500% of normal size.  There was a lot that I hadn’t considered.

I came back to the office that next Monday and had a great conversation with my team about this, and together we began scouring the web for resources and tools and leaders in the accessibility space.  There’s been a ton of work to advance the web in this arena, and there’s a ton of work left to be done.

The amazing thing about the web is that it’s a blank canvas upon which we can build almost anything imaginable.  On the web we’re not constrained by limitations that govern the physical world.  My mother-in-law, and anyone else with a disability, has to deal with day-to-day challenges that most of us never consider.  Let’s work together to make the web a place where everyone can explore, learn, communicate, and do business unencumbered.