In the US, 1 in 5 people are diagnosed with a disability. Does your website accommodate their needs?
A subject of rising importance in the digital world these days is accessibility. Did you know that according to U.S. Census Bureau data, almost one in five people are living with a diagnosed disability? What’s more, over half of those with a disability describe their condition as severe. It’s important that the digital world be inclusive, and easy for all to navigate, so that this part of the population can also access goods and services online. It’s not only a good UX design and business practice, but it’s even unlawful in the U.S. to not be accessible, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
According to Forbes magazine, “The Department of Justice has recently made statements to the effect that the ADA also applies to websites. When companies essentially deny equal access because their website is incompatible with a screen reader—or has other accessibility issues, the companies also become vulnerable to lawsuits.” And the lawsuits have already started. One recent and notorious one is the case in which a blind man sued Domino’s pizza since he was unable to order pizza on its website, and the court sided in his favor! Another target has been beyonce.com (Yes, even “Queen Bey” has had to make some important changes to her fan site!)
The area of website accessibility testing is only going to grow as more attention is being placed on the issue. In this post, I’ll share with you some of the most fundamental resources for learning accessibility testing and tools to check if your website is accessible.
First and foremost, it’s a good idea to check the authoritative documentation on web accessibility for starters!
Abstracta Blog Posts
Here are some blog posts we’ve written about accessibility on the Abstracta blog:
- How to Easily Do Accessibility Testing in Continuous Integration
- What is Mobile Accessibility and Why is it Important?
- 5 Do’s and Don’ts of Accessible Mobile UI Design
Books & Courses
If you’re really serious about getting into accessibility testing, these are some of the best books and courses available online today.
- Inclusive Design Patterns. Coding Accessibility Into Web Design – Book by Heydon Pickering
- Introduction to Web Accessibility – Course
- Web Accessibility by Google: Developing with Empathy – Course
Other Interesting Articles
Here are some great articles for further reading:
- Power Hour – Accessibility Testing
- 7 Practical Tips for Cheating at Design Improving your designs with tactics instead of talent.
- The State of Accessibility: GAAD 2019
- Consider the range of people that will use your product or service
- Dos and don’ts on designing for accessibility
- The inaccessible web: how we got into this mess
- WCAG 2.1: What is Next for Accessibility Guidelines
When analyzing your site’s accessibility, either of these checklists can serve as a useful guide:
- VoxMedia’s checklist
- Abstracta’s Checklist: WCAG Criteria Evaluation 2.1 [Template]
Most accessibility tests require some kind of tool to help you experience a website or app in a similar way to someone with a certain physical impairment. These are some helpful resources:
- Top 25 Awesome Accessibility Testing Tools for Websites
- Color Contrast Tools
- Color Contrast Analyzer
- Accessibility Developer Tools
- HTML Code_Sniffer
- Firefox Web Developer Toolbar
- NoCoffee vision simulator
- aXe: Accessibility for Development Teams
If you STILL need more tools, you can always check the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List on the W3C site. You can filter the list according to your needs to evaluate the accessibility level of a web app or mobile app. If you aren’t sure what kind of tool you need and how the tools are able to assist you, check this page: Selecting Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools.
- An accessible process for inclusive design (Google I / O ’18)
- Design For All Your Users
- What’s new in web accessibility (Google I / O ’18)
- A11ycasts Winter Break
- Web Accessibility – A first look at WCAG 2.1
- Future Accessibility: a first look at WCAG 2.1 | Alastair Campbell talk video
- Deque Systems YouTube channel
- TED Talks: Designing for disability
Accessible Websites for Inspiration
Last but not least, check out some of the most accessible websites on the web to look to as a model for championing accessibility.
If you’re looking for more help in making your website more accessible, contact us to have a call with Abstracta’s accessibility testers today!
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