Web Accessibility: Designing for Disabilites

I think many in web design overlook web accessibility. I know I am absolutely guilty of it, especially when I’m against a deadline. Excuses abound, but that does not make them valid. Really, there is no excuse. To be a good designer is to be conscious of all users.

For those that are hopelessly behind, web accessibility is essentially making the internet friendly for everyone, or inclusivity online, especially for those with disabilities. In a day and age when inclusivity should be universal across all platforms, industries and social interactions, the plight of the discriminated against is as strong as ever. Don’t be that person. Don’t be lazy. Educate yourself on the right ways to design and develop and then implement what you learn.

If you want to understand more fully, check out some of the many resources around the internet. But if you are looking for a quick cheat sheet to apply RIGHT THIS MINUTE, below are a few basics.

  • Text transcripts and captioning for audio and visual content
    • Descriptions of videos or audio files
    • Adjustable settings for videos
  • Websites that are keyboard navigation and screen reader friendly
  • Always have alternative text descriptions for images, icons, etc.
  • Good user experience in design
    • Clear navigation and highly organized content
    • Navigation alternatives
    • Search functions with autocorrect and word prediction
    • Consistency across pages
  • reCAPTCHA instead of CAPTCHA
  • Proper coding for text reflow for when text size is changed

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