Web Accessibility: A Digital Divide for Disabled People?

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Abstract

The focus of this paper is Web accessibility for disabled people. Much of the Web remains inaccessible or difficult to access by people across a spectrum of disabilities and this may have serious implications for the potential use of the Web for increasing social inclusion. The topic of disabled Web access is introduced through a consideration of four discourses: digital divide, social construction of disability, legal, and Web accessibility. The lack of dialogue between these permits a passive liberal approach toward disability discrimination to prevail and this political position has become inscribed in widely used automatic software tools resulting in a reinforcement of the view that Web site accessibility approval may, in many cases, be deemed an empty shell.