Online accessibility really hits close to home for me. My younger brother is legally blind (among other physical issues), but an extremely devoted Internet junkie. Email and Google are like Oxygen to him - but he can only access these with the help of screen readers, enlargers and custom-designed computer hardware.
Intellectually, my brother is a genius and the Internet is a fantastic vehicle for him to explore worlds and participate in conversations that he just can't get to with the way his body works. As a sister it infuriates me that Web designers block him from achieving his online goals b/c of laziness or ignorance.
As an Internet professional, it's frustrating for me to see other Web-focused companies go halfway in their Web site efforts. Cutting corners by not doing something as simple (yet amazingly functional) as adding alt-tags or by being careless with their Java Scripting, etc. Argh.
“Fully accessible websites are not only good for persons with disabilities, they are good for everyone,” Mr. Schindlmayr said. “Persons with disabilities shop, they travel and they need information just like everyone else. Allowing people to exercise their human rights and play their full part in the economic, social and political lives of their societies just makes good sense all around.”