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Web Accessibility Essay

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Web Accessibility In Saudi Arabia

ICT has been a part of our everyday lives and still growing. The access to websites before is just for the young and the professionals. At present each individual is somehow required or compelled to access websites for certain services. We already know that the Web phenomenon has changed the approach of people to communicate with each other, whether they are individuals or businesses. For one, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is moving towards e-government which will enable its citizens to access services of the Saudi government via the internet. The Kingdom has realized the importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve the delivery of services and resources via the Web. Websites were designed to be user friendly. The user interfaces of most websites have distinctive technological tools to make it easier for its users. However, the development of websites does not require extraordinary design to make it accessible to all segments of society, including people with disabilities. Moreover, the Saudi Arabia government have the laws and regulations in the Kingdom that grants exclusive rights for the disabled in the community and provide them with support and facilities. This is done by providing all possible means to fit their needs to enable them to enjoy their lives, like any other citizen in Saudi Arabia. From this perspective, this essay will cover the topic of "Web accessibility in Saudi Arabia" for people with disabilities as well as seniors, to try to highlight over their ability to interact and navigate the web.

On the other hand, the essay will present several tools for Website accessibility and to help developers and designers to understand the main principles for the web accessibility, in particular for people with disabilities and the seniors.

Background of the topic
In the present era, the web is the primary source for information, and the completion of the transactions in many aspects of life, such as education, work, e-government, e-commerce, health care, entertainment and more. Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of making websites usable by people of all abilities and disabilities.[1] “Web accessibility for disabled” means that people with disabilities can perceive, understands, navigates, and interacts with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web. Web accessibility also benefits others, including older people with changing abilities due to aging.” [2] Disability is a multidimensional and complex concept and it is substantially limits a major lifeactivity of a human. It may affect the persons and his family. This will negatively influence the person, family, and the whole society if the system does not support them. [3] The Policies on Disability in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is based on the Islamic Sharia, which emphasizes human rights, and particularly person with disabilities rights to live with dignity and benefit from welfare. [4]

The Central Department of Statistics Information conducted a study in 2007 under the title of (Population & Housing Characteristics in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Demographic survey) that showed “Saudi Disabled population by type of disability” as seen in the chart below: [2]

Figure 1: Saudi Disabled population by type of disability

The chart shows that the greater numbers of Sa...

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