Who is Accessibility For?
When we are clear, concise, and consistent with how we build our products, everyone benefits, especially people with disabilities. People with disabilities are typical web users with similar goals and tasks in mind. The persona’s are the same as typical users, but they will have a few more specific needs because of how* they use the web. They may use screen readers, or they may need a transcript in place of audio or video content.
What Are the Needs of the Disabled?
Web accessibility refers to removing barriers that prevent people with disabilities from accessing and properly using computers, tablets or mobile devices.
Did You Know?
According to the US Census Bureau, in the United States, nearly 1 in 5 people have a disability. That is 20% of the population. These disabilities fall into four main categories: sight, hearing, mobility & dexterity, and cognition.
People with these disabilities have specific needs which are clearly outlined in the infographic What Are the Needs of the Disabled?
Accessiblity is for Everyone
As we’ve seen, when it comes to building accessible products, people with disabilities are our primary persona. However, it is important that we understand that accessibility can positively benefit everyone.
Some users may experience temporary disabilities (i.e. a broken hand), changing abilities (i.e. changes due to old age), or even urgent or stressful situations (i.e. rushing to the hospital) that require our products to be fully accessible.
Who Sets the Standard?
The standards for Web Accessibility are being set by The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) through their Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Being compliant with WCAG is becoming increasingly important as we move further into the 21st Century. Discrimination lawsuits are happening more frequently. Our goal is to ensure that anyone can use our web applications and that Frontline is compliant with the WCAG Level AA rating. Frontline Accessibility Guidelines
How Does This Apply to Us?
Frontline employees are expected to validate their own work. Front End Developers are expected to code properly and validate that code with suggested Accessibility tools. Each Frontline UX Designer will be expected to apply Accessibility Guidelines to designs and workflows. We will interpret WCAG Accessibility Guidelines for ourselves, and each designer will audit his or her own work so that our visual and interactive elements will easily lead to Development success.
We will learn guiding rules-of-thumb and design for the best experience for every user. In situations where that isn’t possible, we will provide an alternative experience that does not discriminate. Again, we do not have to literally follow strict guidelines at all times, but we must interpret without discriminating against users.
- Video Outlining Frontline’s Checklist: Accessibility for Agile Teams
- Frontline Checklists: Project Team Roles
- Additional Checklists: Accessibility Checklists: WCAG 2.0 AA
- Recommended Tools: Design & Development Tools for Accessibility
- Courses: Training Resources
- Additional Articles: Articles about Accessibility for Agile Teams
Article sources: Salesforce Lightning Design System & Lynda.com course, “What Is Accessibility?” by Derek Featherstone