Why accessibility should be part of your strategy.

Its easy to build sites for the majority, but building user interfaces that work for visually impaired, deaf, and the less abled, requires consideration and skill.

It’s often perceived that these issues impact a minority, but in reality it’s more significant than you may imagine.

source: http://www.interactiveaccessibility.com/accessibility-statistics

In October 2016, the EU approved directive 2016/2102 which requires websites and mobile apps for public companies to conform to WAG 2.0 level AA. The RNIB has served legal proceedings against a number of companies for non-compliance, so it should be taken seriously. Fortunately there’s some really good tools and references available to help.

Microsoft has created a portal dedicated to inclusive design, their toolkit is available to download here.

it’s essential when building new UI prototypes and designs to ensure that you considering items such as; contrast, spacing, alt text as well as a whole range of accessibility requirements – with good practise WAG AA is achievable.

This can make the process harder, as part of Dev Tools Google made an accessibility extension for Chrome, which allows an audit in the same way we check for asset performance.

Once installed, for any page you can carry out an audit, just open developer tools, click on the audit tab, and run an audit.

There’s a nice summary of the issues on your page.

These tools are only the start, to support deaf users you will require your videos have captions, your images and buttons need to be considered for those who may be colour blind. Your navigation may need to allow easy access to go up the screen to prevent excess scrolling, and so forth.

Accessibility is important, we should all aspire to build inclusive experiences. It shouldn’t be an after thought, it should be part of your design and build strategy.

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