In the human–computer inter­ac­tion, com­pu­ter acces­si­bi­li­ty refers to the acces­si­bi­li­ty of the soft­ware to all peop­le regard­less of disa­bi­li­ty type or seve­ri­ty of the phy­si­cal impairment. It is a soft­ware con­cern when hard­ware or soft­ware or a com­bi­na­ti­on of both is used by a per­son with disabilities.

Various types of the­se disa­bi­li­ties or impairments inclu­de hea­ring impairment, visu­al impairment, dys­le­xia, loco­mo­tors impairments, cere­bral pal­sy, etc. Modern soft­ware tech­no­lo­gies make the ent­i­re ope­ra­ti­on easier for the phy­si­cal­ly chal­len­ged users of all ages. This fea­ture is also known as Assis­ti­ve Technology.

Cer­tain acces­si­bi­li­ty stan­dards for soft­ware app­li­ca­ti­ons are app­lied to the ope­ra­ting sys­tems. The­se stan­dards can be achie­ved by various advan­ced tech­no­lo­gies and by fol­lowing the acces­si­bi­li­ty design gui­de­li­nes. In order to meet the stan­dards, an elec­tro­nic device must have some acces­si­bi­li­ty fea­tures or pro­vi­si­ons, com­pa­ti­ble with the sys­tem or the app­li­ca­ti­on soft­ware. For examp­le, the way a text is to be writ­ten for dis­play needs an assis­ti­ve tech­no­lo­gy for the desi­red output.

What are the acces­si­bi­li­ty features?

A num­ber of com­mer­cial­ly avail­ab­le ope­ra­ting sys­tems and soft­ware app­li­ca­ti­ons have built-in fea­tures in the pro­gram known as the acces­si­bi­li­ty fea­tures. The­se fea­tures can be tur­ned on or off by the user.
A few examp­les of the­se fea­tures are rever­sing the colors, visu­al prompt to high­light the errors, “sti­cky keys.”, etc.
The­re are well-defi­ned indi­ca­ti­ons on the screen that move among the inter­ac­ti­ve inter­face ele­ments with the chan­ge of input focus. This focus is pro­gram­ma­ti­cal­ly expo­sed so that the assis­ti­ve tech­no­lo­gy can track the focus and the changes.

Acces­si­bi­li­ty Design Guidelines

• Use the right color to empha­si­ze or enhan­ce the infor­ma­ti­on shown by any means.
• Acces­si­bi­li­ty aids need the key­board loca­ti­on iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on to pass infor­ma­ti­on to the users.
• It expo­ses the screen ele­ments. The Acces­si­bi­li­ty aids use the Win­dows messages, off-screen models and the Acti­ve Acces­si­bi­li­ty to collect the infor­ma­ti­on about the objects on the monitor.
• It pro­vi­des a gene­ral user inter­face that is very fle­xi­ble to meet the user’s pre­fe­ren­ces and needs.
• Key­word access is a basic part of Micro­soft Win­dows inter­face and is used in all types of app­li­ca­ti­ons. The well-desi­gned key­board inter­faces help the users with disabilities.
• The lay­out assists the users who can­not see the object’s con­text on the monitor.
• The users can avoid making inserts like CD ROMS and swap disks.
• Well-desi­gned mou­se input sup­ports make the app­li­ca­ti­ons easier for the users.
• It hel­ps in multi-tasking.
• The sizes of gra­phics and texts affect the usa­bi­li­ty and acces­si­bi­li­ty. Thus, the users can size objects on the monitors.
• Users are working in their envi­ron­ments that need low sound volu­me, requi­re sound alternatives.
• The time events are adjus­ta­ble by the users. Users who have dif­fi­cul­ties to read and react to the brief­ly dis­play­ed infor­ma­ti­on can also per­form the tasks suc­cess­ful­ly wit­hin spe­ci­fic time limits.
Over­all, acces­si­bi­li­ty stan­dards for soft­ware app­li­ca­ti­ons are gene­ra­li­zed to all types of users around the glo­be, regard­less of the extent of phy­si­cal disa­bi­li­ties they have. It is cru­cial that soft­ware app­li­ca­ti­ons meet requi­red acces­si­bi­li­ty stan­dards to invol­ve the maxi­mum num­ber of users and embrace their needs and peculiarities.