For the past few years, the web industry is changing rapidly: we have new tools, frameworks, and libraries that allow us to create rich and inventive user interfaces. Since 1997 the World Wide Consortium (W3C) has introduced the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and ever since we have a powerful toolset and lots of resources that help us build a more accessible Web. Our work affects more than people than you may think, more than 500 million web users worldwide are suffering some kind of disability. In this post, I'll cover a few resources and basic tooling getting started with accessibility.
The official WAI website has lots of supporting resources about accessibility issues. Mozilla Foundation and the [Google web fundamentals] website (https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/accessibility/) are also a great starting point with tons of practical examples and tutorials about accessible web interfaces and applications.
Convincing your employers, colleagues or even yourself that accessibility really matters can be harsh or even frustrating. Besides the humanitarian perspective, accessible user interfaces can boost the revenue and visitors for your products or systems.
- NBC Learn has met the Section 508 standards
- Smashing Magazine covers BBC iPlayer Case Study
- BBC has also a wonderful resource library with lots of practical case studies and user stories about their work.
- Yes! Your site can (and should) be accessible, Laura Carvajal shares lots of insights about The Financial Times transition to a more accessible web.
- W3C has also a knowledge base with some case studies from major companies and organizations.
#Getting actually started
As always breaking a monolith at once is inefficient and requires lots of planning and effort. You can start right away though, tweaking a few parts or pieces of your product can significantly change the experience for your users.
- W3C has some great tips for development teams.
- The A11Y Project is a community-driven knowledge base with tons of resources and support articles. There is also a great checklist for your projects.
- Emily Mears shares some great starting points for newcomers.
- My dearest friend and colleague Grigoria Pontiki has written a guide for accessibility low hanging fruit
- Juan David Quiñones has also some insights about getting started.
Getting started with web accessibility is likely a mindset and requires changing your development and designing habits rather than tearing apart and refactoring your entire codebase. In the upcoming tutorials and posts, I will cover more technical details about setting up a development environment and automate the transition to a more accessible codebase.