It’s Independence Day, and Americans are celebrating freedom. Designing for web accessibility ensures free access for all, and it solves many mobile usability problems at the same time. This overview from the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative outlines those similarities, and it links to guidelines, best practices, and other resources from the W3C on this topic.
WebAIM (Web Accessibility In Mind), a nonprofit founded in 1999, remains one of the most reliable sources of information on web accessibility. They provide an online page checker as well as a Firefox plug-in that puts their toolbar right in your browser.
Some essential articles from WebAIM are:
Another useful item from WebAIM is their survey of screenreader users. Its most recent update is from May 2012: webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey4.
While tools such as ChromeVox can help able-bodied web professionals understand the need to design for accessibility, actual user testing is probably the only way to know if this goal has been accomplished.
Usability expert Whitney Quesenbery points out that while responsive design and design for accessibility are not synonymous, “for perhaps the first time, an important trend in Web design—responsive Web design—and the equally important need to make a Web that works for everyone, no matter how they access a Web site or application, are pulling in the same direction.”
What do you think?