Merriam-Webster defines "usable" as "capable of being used." Oxford dictionary defines "usability" as "the degree to which something is able or fit to be used." These definitions do not specify who should be able to use that thing, but the implication is that the thing should be able to be used by everyone. Why then, is usability a different field than accessibility? Accessibility should be at the very root of usability. ...continue reading Usability should include accessibility

In honour of International Women's Day, I want to offer this shout out to women developers everywhere in the form of female developer avatars, courtesy of the very talented Rafael Castillo from SapientNitro. I noticed recently that I couldn't find any female depictions of web developers in Google image search results. Hopefully these illustrations will be indexed and improve the diversity of those results: ...continue reading Happy International Women’s Day, March 8, 2016

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Congratulations if your web experience is accessible to all audiences. Don't stop now, here are five ways to make sure it stays that way:

  1. Make sure that future updates to the experience assessed for accessibility compliance in every phase (wireframe, design, development, and production).
    • It happens too often that we create an accessible experience and then let it slowly become inaccessible as errors are introduced in future phases.

    ...continue reading 5 ways to maintain accessible experiences online

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If you care about your web content being accessible, try accessing it with a screen reader. Learning to use a screen reader is easier than ever. Both Windows and Mac operating systems (OS) have free screen readers available. This article refers to the Mac OS built-in screen reader, VoiceOver.
...continue reading How to use the VoiceOver screen reader

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Too often we share only the accessibility fails without talking about accessibility wins. I am planning to start incorporating some positive reinforcement stories in addition to the negative punishment stories that are so prevalent in the industry. Negative punishment is not working quickly enough! ...continue reading Inspire accessible experiences with positive reinforcement

With this post I am bringing together some resources that I've been using for years, and sharing with my team. All developers will benefit from familiarizing themselves with these techniques. ...continue reading Accessible development resources…and one important tip

October, 2016: Update! I used to encourage experience designers to capture annotations for accessible keyboard functionality separately in "linear wireframes." The reason for that was that it was new to them, and it felt like a very separate exercise. More recently I have recommended that keyboard events be captured in the same wireframes that capture all other interactions as a more holistic experience. I have edited the article below to refer to linear interactions as opposed to linear wireframes.

...continue reading Defining accessible experiences with linear wireframes

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It is important to design and develop websites with accessibility in mind. It is a common misconception that tools can be used to determine if a website is compliant with accessibility guidelines. This article will describe at a high level which guidelines cannot be tested with an automated tool, and require manual testing. ...continue reading 12 manual tests for accessibility compliance you should do now