The Internet is a powerful tool and every day lots of people rely on it for studying, working and free time. We can find useful documentation, order a CD, reserve a hotel room and so on.

Many people with disabilities actually can't use these tools since most sites are designed for "average users" with a standard web browser, interacting with a keyboard, a monitor and a mouse.

This is definitely unkind, especially if you think that for many people with disabilities the Internet isn't an easy way to perform some task, but the only way. As an example, if you are looking for printed articles on a given topic, it can be very difficult to find a braille version. On the Internet, a speech browser allows easy access for everyone to informations.

That's why it's important to design web sites accessible to all users, or provide an alternate version of the site. Many people find the former way much better since you have a single version to update. That's true, but I find very difficult to create a good-looking page without introducing accessibility problems. There are many disabilities, and many way to browse the web, and you always risk to leave somebody out.

Moreover, tools like G-Cows allow to maintain multiple versions of a site with a minimal effort. I don't say it's the right way, this is simply my way and I'm definitely not the greatest expert of accessibility issues.

The accessible version of G-Cows' site is primarily text-based; images have an alternate text and no tables are used for layout purposes.

Actually, Style Sheets allow to do a lot of formatting without tables, but browsers don't support these features. Even when they'll do, you'll be left with another accessibility problem: people can't be asked to install the latest version of a given browser to use your site.

Site Map | Animal Rights | Contact