checkbox A text-only version of a web page should be created only when there is no other way to make the content accessible.

Creating a text-only version of a Web site should be done when there is no other way to make the content accessible, or when it offers significant advantages over the main version. The text-only version must provide the functionality equivalent to that of the main version.

A common misconception is that everyone should automatically create a text-only (or "accessible) version of their Web site.

Why is this a false assumption?

  • A text-only site will probably be more accessible to someone who is blind, but what about someone who has a learning disability or a hearing impairment? Images and visual multimedia can certainly benefit these groups of people.
  • Text-only sites do not always contain the same information that the graphics-based website contains. Often times, content is posted in the form of graphics (without a sufficient alt-tag) that identifies some "deal" or "breaking news". This information can get lost in the transltion to a text-only site.
  • Can you imagine how much additional time it would take to maintain two (regular and text-only) versions of a Web site??? For this reason, text-only sites are often out of date.

Ultimately we are aiming for universal accessibility, or Web sites that are accessible to everyone regardless of physical or developmental abilities or impairments. These types of websites ARE possible!!

Web developers should seek to make their content as universally accessible as possible, recognizing that there will always be a small minority of individuals for whom the content will not be fully accessible.

* Great article: Visual vs. Cognitive Disabilities

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