Have you ever had an instance where you were browsing the web on your phone and came across a page that didn’t quite work? Maybe you get stuck when there is a button you can’t see, or the navigation is somehow off-screen and out of reach, or perhaps the background didn’t render, and you have white text on a white background. The frustration felt in that instance is the frustration that individuals with accessibility challenges run into daily.
Have you had your aha moment? Maybe you realized the cool, small text on the web is just not readable anymore. Or perhaps the text on your prescription bottle isn’t big enough to read? Maybe the songs you used to love to listen to start to sound fuzzy, or you can’t catch the high or low end. There are many reasons to make sites accessible. One of the most common is a governmental agency requires it. I would encourage you to empathize with those who struggle and find ways to improve the digital experience you make available to them.
Improving accessibility starts with design. It needs to be a process in your design team and your organization. And when I say in your design team, I also mean in the make-up of your design team. The diversity of individuals on design teams will lead to a more robust product that will work with a wider variety of groups, including those with disabilities. Once you have looked long and hard at your design team, start understanding that it is a journey and process. Train the team on accessibility; Start with the course the W3C sponsors here: Digital Accessibility Foundations – Free Online Course | Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) | W3C. You can find a list of other courses they maintain here: Course List | Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) | W3C
Arm the design team with tools like WAVE, developed by webAIM.org, or AXE, created by Deque. If you combine that with the training listed above, you are already doing well. Get them to include the many plugins available on the platform of your choice. Figma, Sketch, and Adobe XD have plugins that help you check the contrast levels of the designs. Designers can’t be the only part of your organization. The collaboration needs to happen across several different organizations. Development must be a willing partner in the endeavor. The individual teams will know the