Welcome to Accessibility (A11y) and Me! Heads up, a11y is a numeronym for accessibility.
You’ve heard about this web accessibility thing and know a thing or two. You manage, design or build websites and someone has asked you, “Is your site accessibile?” You’re not sure. You hope so! You scour the web to learn more, but discover it’s a wild world of contradicting and incomplete information out there when it comes to accessibility.
Where do you start? Right here.
Here you’ll find several useful online resources related to web accessibility and a brief description on how it will help you. The list will always be concise, current and geared toward starting with accessibility or topics within it.
- WebAIM: WebAIM has provided comprehensive web accessibility solutions since 1999, and is one of the leading providers of web accessibility expertise internationally. WebAIM is a non-profit organization within the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. The site brings together a huge collection of information about web accessibility. Most of it is up to date and evergreen enough to help you. The organization’s blog tackles many modern-day, evolving topics related to web accessibility.
- The A11Y Project: This open source intiative aims to make web accessibility easier. It includes tips, tutorials and information on how to test for better accessibility. Much of the content authored remains well written, on the shorter side and digestable.
- Inclusive Components: Heydon Pickering created this blog trying to be a pattern library. Focusing on inclusive design, each post explores a common interface component and comes up with a better, more robust and accessible version of it. It also has a book version, available for purchase from the site.
- Accessibility Wins: Curated by Marcy Sutton, this site provides first-class examples of how to implement accessibility the right way. It’s a shining force of positivity in the accessibility community.
- Mismatch – How Inclusion Shapes Design: Kat Holmes writes about how inclusive methods can build elegant design solutions that work for all.
- Accessibility for Everyone: Laura Kalbag guides you through the accessibility landscape in an approachanble and pragmatic way. It will make you want to turn around and tackle accessibility the next day.
- Accessibility Weekly: Curated by me, David A. Kennedy, this newsletter aims to give you a weekly dose of web accessibility to help you bring it into your everyday work.
- Accessibility Tips in Single-Page Applications: This post has a small set of tips to help you approach building a single page application in an accessible way.
- The Difference Between Keyboard and Screen Reader Navigation: This blog post explains the differences between these two types of ways to navigate. They’re often confused among designers and developers.
- What is this thing and what does it do?: A video talk all about the DOM and its importance for accessibility.
- Using VoiceOver to Evaluate Web Accessibility: This article is designed to help users who are new to VoiceOver learn the basic controls for testing web content, and to serve as a reference for the occasional VoiceOver user.
- Using NVDA to Evaluate Web Accessibility: This article is designed to help users who are new to NVDA learn the basic controls for testing web content, and to serve as a reference for the occasional NVDA user.
- Guide to Creating Accessible PDF Documents: An article from WebAIM on creating and testing PDFs.
- Creating Accessible Forms: A section from WebAIM on creating and maintaining accessible forms.
- Accessibility for Designers: An infographic about how designers can help create good, accessible websites.
- Axe: Accessibility for Development Teams Guide to Universal Design: This automated testing tool is one of my favorites, and helps you start building accessibility into your dev process today.
- Wave: A web tool and Firefox add-on for evaluating the accessibility of web pages.
- WebAIM Color Contrast Checker: A great tool for spot checking different color combinations.
- An Alt Text Decision Tree: A decision tree for deciding when and how to implement alt text in your work on the web. This is a work in progress by the editors of the HTML5 spec, but its extremely useful in its current form.
- NVDA: A screenreader for Windows.
- JAWS: The most popular screenreader. Available for Windows and cost money.
- VoiceOver: Built-in screenreader for Mac.
- VoiceOver for iOS: Built-in screenreader for Mac.
- Chrome Vox: A screenreader for ChromeOS.
- Easy Checks: A set of simple checks developers can make while building websites and applications.
Others have created similar, outstanding efforts to get you started in accessibility. Some of my favorites include:
- A11y Coffee: Pick your serving size of web accessibility information.
- Solid Start: There are four ways you can improve your creation for everybody. All four are testable, fixable and they improve usability for everybody.