This course discusses what constitutes a disability when it comes to the Web and how different disabilities/issues affect the way in which people with them use the Web. We will see how designers and developers can make better design decisions to help those with disabilities/issues use their products, cover coding techniques that aid assistive technologies which enable them to better interact with their site or app, and discuss current Web accessibility guidelines and what we can do to meet them. Also, we will explore tools for testing the accessibility of our products that will show us how well we are doing and, in some cases, even allow us to simulate how users with disabilities will experience them.
Brian Treese is the Chief Designer at SoCreate, a company building a fun and easy way to turn great ideas into movie & TV show scripts. Technically a Web Designer (he's always loved the aesthetic side of the web), but his expertise does not stop at Photoshop and Illustrator.
Designing for Accessibility Most of the time, when thinking about accessibility on the web, we jump right into code. Well, there's more to it than that. Design plays a huge role in accessibility. Sites must adapt and respond to an unlimited number of viewing conditions, device dimensions, and device pixel densities. Color palettes need to be designed with contrast, readability, and color blindness in mind. Type needs to be set in a manner that's easy to consume. Form should be easy to follow and fill out. Touch targets need to be easy to touch. And how motion will affect those with vestibular disorders should be considered. Let's begin by examining the role responsive design plays in the world of accessibility.
Coding for Accessibility Accessibility is about more than just code, and we know that now, but proper code is really at the heart of our web accessibility efforts. It's important to focus on creating the proper document structure. It's also important that any meaningful information not be conveyed solely by shape, size, visual location, or orientation, but with the correct HTML tags. When adding text we should use actual text and not images containing text. The images we do use should contain descriptions for those who cannot see them. Our sites and applications should be accessible using only the keyboard to navigate them. And performance should be up front and center to ensure accessibility on poor network connections. We will cover all of these topics in this module, so let's dive in with developing the proper document structure.
Accessibility Guidelines & Standards Believe it or not, in this crazy, confusing world of web accessibility, there are some standards and guidelines that we should be following. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG 2. 0, developed by the W3C's web accessibility initiative is a list of techniques that help authors meet guidelines and success criteria regarding accessibility. More increasing civil rights issues regarding accessibility in the web have been bubbling up. We've seen an ever growing list of lawsuits won against large corporations with poor arguments as to why their sites are not accessible. The laws regarding web accessibility are real and we need to be concerned with them. Just as a disclaimer, I am not a lawyer and I am not claiming to be the definitive source on accessibility law. If you have questions or concerns regarding laws and your rights, you should direct them at your own legal representative. With that said, let's take a closer look at the web content accessibility guidelines and what we can do to meet them.