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December 2019


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Easy accessibility with these helpful tools

Easy accessibility with these helpful tools

I have been following an accessibility first design process for almost 5 years now. The proof is in this vintage blog of mine where past-me talks about becoming accessibility champion for focus:

Accessibility at the BBC -  I had no idea what I was getting in to, how green I was! (Green with a background contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 of course).

In an attempt to raise awareness of the importance of accessibility in web design, I would spend hours sourcing helpful articles and online tools. The WebAIM Contrast Checker became my new best friend.

Back when I first started seriously researching accessibility in web design there really weren’t many reliable resources to turn to for help other than the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, WCAG 2.0. If you’ve seen those (now WCAG 2.1) you’ll understand why they made me back away like I’d come face to face with a White Walker (let’s see how long it takes for that reference to date).

Now though, more and more people and organisations are beginning to understand how very important it is that the web is accessible to everyone. It has to be in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities. Think about how much you rely on the convenience of the web; your phone, your laptop and more to live your daily life. Why should anybody be excluded from that and have to source an alternative solution in a web-dependent world? Fortunately, as awareness and needs heighten so does support for designers and developers to be able to meet these standards website by website, app by app.

 

Handy accessibility tools

I want to share some useful tools and articles with you so they’re all in one place and you can spend a little less time trawling the net than I did! Here are a few of my current favourites...

Checklist to avoid the most common accessibility errors - This isn’t a comprehensive guide to accessibility, but it looks at ways to avoid the most common accessibility errors.

Color review - I’ve never considered myself fickle until this colour review tool came along and I dropped the WebAIM Contrast Checker like a hot stone.

Text on background image a11y check  - A guide to foreground colour accessibility on a background image.

The Myths of Color Contrast Accessibility  - This article is of the strong opinion that colour contrast regulations don’t always provide the most accessible results. The comments from readers make a good argument against that view. Whatever your thoughts, it’s an eye-opening read especially if you’ve ever wondered why a seemingly less accessible colour contrast meets accessibility standards when one that appears clearer to you doesn’t.

I hope you find these helpful. If there’s anything you’ve found that has been really useful to you and that you think could join this list, please feel free to get in touch to let us know!

 

Jordana Jeffrey
Jordana

Created on Wednesday December 11 2019 08:26 AM


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