NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA homepage National Weather Service   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS homepage
Section 508 - Accessibility banner is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.
There aren't enough people with disabilities to make it worth my time designing accessible websites - are there?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau report "Americans with Disabilities, 1997",  52.6 million people (19.7 percent of the population) had some level of disability and 33.0 million (12.3 percent of the population) had a severe disability.  This makes people with disabilities the largest minority in the United States!

[D]Adults with Disabilities

The vision impaired can encounter barriers on the web including:

  • Images with no "alternative text"
  • complex images not adequately described
  • video that isn't described in text or audio
  • tables that make no sense when read in a "cell by cell" manner 

For the hearing impaired, barriers include:

  • lack of captions or transcripts of audio on the Web
  • lack of content-related images in pages full of text, which can slow comprehension for people whose first language may be a sign language

For the mobility impaired, barriers may include:

  • time-limited response options on Web pages
  • browsers that don't support keyboard alternatives for mouse commands
  • formats that can't be tabbed through in a logical order

For the cognitive and neurological disabled, barriers include:

  • lack of alternative modalities for information on Web sites, for instance lack of alternative text that can be converted to audio to supplement visuals, or the lack of captions for audio
  • distracting visual or audio elements that cannot easily be turned off
  • use of unnecessarily complex language on Web sites
  • lack of graphics on Web sites - some people may rely more on graphics to enhance understanding of a site or to assist in understanding of page content
  • lack of clear or consistent organization of Web sites

To next page - The Fastest Growing Segment of the Disabled

Back Top

Home, Contact Us

US Dept of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service
1325 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Content POC: Ronald Jones
Page last modified: 20-Sep-2005 2:03 PM
Information Quality
Privacy Policy
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
About Us
Career Opportunities