Accessibility on the web

April 2023 | Christina Jacob
last updated on 26. June 2023

The internet has changed the world and made it a little smaller, but also more accessible. It is an important tool for education, communication, and commerce, and has become indispensable for many in both their everyday and modern professional lives.
Anyone can access an almost infinite amount of information, connect with other people via social media – no matter where they are – and personally share content with the whole world.

So that’s the theory. In practice, the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development estimates that around half the world’s population is still without access to broadband and mobile networks. And, therefore, without access to the internet too. There are various reasons for this. Particularly in poorer countries, this is in some cases due to poor infrastructures, but also due to a lack of money. People living in poverty can’t afford a computer or a mobile device, let alone data tariffs. In industrialised countries, accessing the internet is especially difficult for the blind, the deaf or people with other disabilities. That also goes for those who are not very tech-savvy or don’t own a computer with the right software – this mostly affects older people.

The World Wide Web Foundation is working on this problem and advocating for a free and open internet for all sections of the population.

It provides free or affordable high-speed broadband to communities in need, develops tools that make it easy to build websites, and advocates for policies that promote inclusive digital growth.

Accessible internet

An important step towards this goal is barrier-free access to the internet. This means designing websites and mobile applications in such a way that they are accessible and unrestricted to as many people as possible. Above all, this applies to those with disabilities, but also to older users.  
In 2008, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) were published as a standard for accessible web content. Similarly, in Europe, public bodies are obliged to provide accessible access to their websites and mobile applications according to the EU Website Directive of 2016.

A website can be considered ‘barrier-free’ if it can be used freely by everyone.

What does that mean in concretely?

Web pages and mobile applications must be designed according to the requirements of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines as follows:

  1. Legible – the content must be clearly visible to the user,
  2. Operable by all users, regardless of whether they have physical, mental, or technical limitations,
  3. Understandable, the content must be easy and unambiguous for the user to grasp,
  4. Robust, i.e., each of the website’s components must be able to be interpreted by a wide range of assistive technologies.

This means that content is presented in alternative formats, so that those with disabilities can use it easily and independently. This includes:

  • Accessible design (high contrast between text and background, appropriate font size, large print)
  • Braille
  • Speech recognition software
  • Lecture programmes (screen reader)
  • Control via keyboard
  • Screen magnifier
  • The transcription of video and audio files

Accessibility for the deaf

In order to make content from popular formats such as podcasts and videos accessible to the deaf, they have to be transcribed. If you do this manually, it requires considerable effort. With the help of transcription software such as GoSpeech, the problem can be quickly solved – the software works with AI-based speech recognition and makes the spoken content of such files available in text form within a few minutes for barrier-free access to the internet.


Accessible internet benefits everyone – the users, who have easy access to all data, as well as the providers, whose online presence is enhanced by greater user-friendliness. The transcription of content required to achieve this is made much simpler by modern tools such as automatic transcription software.

Want to update your website and make it accessible? Take the opportunity to test GoSpeech for free and let our transcription software transcribe your audio and video files.


Try GoSpeech now for free