As someone who’s been an accessibility advocate for over 15 years, I’m often asked questions from fellow web designers, developers, and colleagues about web accessibility resources.
The most common questions are:
- How can I convince managers and stakeholders of the business case for web accessibility?
- Do you know of any accessibility-related videos? I want to show my team the impact of accessibility on people with disabilities.
- I’m looking for accessibility resources for our content writers, designers, developers, and managers. Any suggestions on where to look?
- How can I start to evaluate the accessibility of a web page?
What is the W3C WAI?
The Web Accessibility Initiative is an initiative of the W3C, tasked with developing guidelines for web accessibility as well as resources and support materials to help people understand and implement web accessibility.
It works in partnership with organizations around the world, including industry, disability organizations, government, accessibility research organizations, and others.
The WAI website has a wealth of information and helpful resources for everyone to learn about accessibility.
From the latest news to courses and resources to guidelines and more, no matter your involvement with accessibility, you’ll find helpful info for your projects and work.
Here are my answers to the questions I raised earlier in this post, with links to the WAI resources.
1. How to Convince Managers and Stakeholders of the Business Case for Web Accessibility
I hear the same question at every accessibility talk or webinar I attend: how can I make my case for web accessibility? I have some big-time skeptics in our organization.
The business case for digital accessibility will help you convince management and stakeholders, including that skeptic, of the benefits of web accessibility as well as the risks for ignoring it.
Key takeaways: making your website or web app accessible drives innovation, enhances your brand, increases your market reach, and minimizes legal risk.
The case studies from Barclays, Apple, and National Public Radio included in the WAI business case demonstrate how providing equal access to everyone can be beneficial to your organization.
2. How to Show the Impact of Accessibility on People with Disabilities
The WAI Perspectives Videos are a series of ten short videos (about one minute long) highlighting the importance of:
- Keyboard compatibility
- Video captions
- Good color contrast
- Customizable text
- Clear layout and design
- Speech recognition
- Text to speech
- Understandable content
- Large links, buttons, and controls
- Notifications and feedback
In addition, How People with Disabilities User the Web provides user stories as well as tools and techniques people with disabilities use to browse the web.
What I found helpful: the explanations of the barriers people with disabilities encounter due to inaccessible design.
3. Accessibility Resources for Content Writers, Designers, Developers, Evaluators, Managers, and others
Getting started with accessibility in your role at your organization or team can be overwhelming at first.
The WAI provides a starting point with their helpful resources to get a foundation, get started, and guidance for
What I liked: their Developing for Web Accessibility resource for developers.
How to Start to Evaluate the Accessibility of a Web Page
When you’re starting to learn about accessibility, the number of evaluation options—apps, websites, and browser extensions— may seem overwhelming.
With Easy Checks – A First Review of Web Accessibility, you can use the step-by-step instructions and explanations to check some aspects of accessibility on a web page.
The one-minute video provides an explanation of why regular evaluation is recommended and highlights how the checks provide a rough idea of the web page’s accessibility.
What I liked: the focus on keyboard access and color contrast. Gray text on a light colored background is impossible to read. Increase readability with good color contrast.
Learn how to make your website more accessible and get support from management, stakeholders, and your teams with these helpful resources from the WAI.
The resources I’ve highlighted are only a few of the dozens of helpful tips, information, and guidelines you’ll find on the WAI website.
I encourage anyone interested in expanding their accessibility knowledge to invest time in visiting the WAI website and help create websites that are accessible to everyone.