- 1 The Basics
- 2 Why Accessibility
- 3 Legal issues
- 4 Standards and Guidelines
- 5 Getting it done
- 6 Testing tools
- 7 Accessibility & Mobile Design
- 8 Accessibility & Game Design
- 9 anne’s Accessibility talks
- 10 Related topics
- 11 Accessible PDF files
- 12 Additional Resources
Accessibility refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people who experience disabilities. The concept of accessible design and practice of accessible development ensures both "direct access" (i.e. unassisted) and "indirect access" meaning compatibility with a person's assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). – Wikipedia
Accessibility is the act of designing for an audience that includes people who have disabilities, and may (or may not) be using additional software or hardware to complete their goals. Accessibility is a way of thinking about design and development. Dylan Barrell explains it in his article "What is accessibility?" in terms of a series of traits.
- Accessibility is empathy for your users.
- Accessibility is usability in the things you build.
- Accessibility is compliance with best practices, so you don't have to reinvent the wheel (or make your user do the same).
- Accessibility is making the experience better for all users, with an emphasis on the users at the edge of the experience.
- And Accessibility is practical - not idealistic - in its pursuit of a better experience.
(There's a great discussion of how a map can be accessible not by aligning with the letter of accessibility requirements, but by reassessing what the core user need actually is and building it instead or in addition to the map, in the "What is accessibility?" article, by the way.)
Paul Boag raises many of the same points in his article Accessibility is not what you think, putting the emphasis on the fact that accessible solutions aren't strictly for the profoundly disabled edge cases. Yes, they are covered by good accessibility solutions, but good accessibility solutions benefit everyone. Accessibility is not a few things, though you'll meet people who think that it is. It is not a checklist of things to do so that your software passes a compliance test, a list of things to do so you don't get sued, or a pain in your ass. (Or rather, if it's a pain in your ass, so is User Experience and everything else that's going to make your product successful, so deal.)
Accessibility is not a "nice thing to do", as Karin Hitselberger explains in her article of the same name. It's the law. And it's the law because Karin and you and I all share the same rights to life and dignity and safety and security. It's not kindness, and it's not charity. It's the baseline.
I've written a few things about Accessibility over the years, which can be boiled down to these two points:
One of the most, um, motivating aspects of accessibility law is the ability for someone with a disability to sue or register a complaint against the Office of Civil Rights (in the US, and similar offices in other countries) when a physical or virtual location is inaccessible. Example cases and events that have garnered media attention include:
Standards and Guidelines
Getting it done
Accessibility 101: The things you need to get started
Fostering the Culture
- Extreme Design by Derek Featherstone is a one-hour video of how accessible design benefits everyone.
- Creating a Culture of Accessibility by Cordelia McGee Tubs at the Dropbox Tech Blog. This article discusses generating excitement around accessibility, running an accessibility device lab, rewarding the organization's champions, spreading knowledge, and developing a culture of learning around accessibility.
- Reframing Accessibility for the Web by me at A List Apart. This article discusses how stereotypes work, how they're interfering with our accessible design process, and one approach to testing for accessibility that takes the stereotypes out of the direct line of fire.
- Accessibility for Teams by the US Government outlines how each role at an organization or in a team can improve the accessibility of a product.
Agile and Accessibility
- How to write user stories user stories for web accessibility by Kathy Wahlbin at Interactive Accessibility
Why test with people who have disabilities?
- Accessibility user testing: a cautionary tale by Daniel Pidcock outlines one example of what can happen when we assume that our work is accessible.
How to test
- Considering accessibility when designing a usability test outlines ways to integrate accessibility testing into usability testing -- since if it's not accessible, it's not usable.
- Accessibility Testing Tools outlines information about testing code, such as how to use a screen reader and what automated tools are available.
- Accessibility In User-Centered Design: Recruiting Screener gives a detailed screener example
Accessibility & Mobile Design
- Mobile And Accessibility: Why You Should Care And What You Can Do About It by TJ VanToll at Smashing Magazine
Accessibility & Game Design
- Creating an accessible breakout game using Web Audio & SVG by David Roussett
anne’s Accessibility talks
- Disability as Inspiration Porn
- Products mocked as “lazy” or “useless” are often important tools for people with disabilities by s.e. smith for Vox
- Cool stuff for blind, deaf, or non-verbal people (youtube)
- I am not broken: the language of disabilityby Bookworm Blues
- Overcompensating: Magical Erasure of Blindness in SFF
Accessible PDF files
Web Accessibility 101: Screen Magnification & Reflow in Acrobat Reader https://youtu.be/fCrZhnFrxjk
- PDF Accessibility by WebAIM
- WAI-ARIA <-- this totally doesn't belong here but I'm not sure where to put it yet
- WebAIM Resources page
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Pages in category "Accessibility"
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Media in category "Accessibility"
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