Accessibility Is Important Because Other People Are Important

I just finished reading Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug. You should read it. ((As promised in the book’s introduction, I was able to read it during a single airplane trip from Seattle to Michigan.))  I’ll post a more-thorough review later, but I wanted to get this out right away: this book changed my thinking on accessibility’s importance.

Previously, in Privilege & Web Design: Putting the Web And Accessibility in Perspective I wrote:

As Margit Link-Rodrigue elegantly writes in her A List Apart article, “The Inclusion Principle,” universal design and “the inclusion principle” aren’t just about making sure that those other people can use a website, “Above all, focusing on inclusion helps us understand that we do not only consider accessibility for others, but for our own good.”

This is true. Universal design and the inclusion principle are still important. However, Steve Krug pointed out, rightly, that the universal design argument motivates through an appeal to self-interest. That’s something I’m not comfortable with.

I think there was a little voice in the back of my head that was saying this all along, but I’m glad that I finally had someone call me out on it.

Accessibility is important because it affects other people negatively. Not putting in the time to make my sites accessible to a certain group of people implies that I don’t value them as much as others, and that’s not what I believe. The internet is revolutionary and every person deserves access to it.

2 thoughts on “Accessibility Is Important Because Other People Are Important”

    1. Scott,

      Thank you so much for your comment and sharing your article with me.

      I certainly have a lot to learn still, and your article was another good addition to that lifelong journey.

      I think that, this post might be a little knee-jerk against my previous views despite neither being particularly incompatible with the other.

      I want to let your points sink in and maybe do some more reading, but I think this post warrants an addendum in the near future.

      Thanks again.

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