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August 2014

We’ve said before that good design is more than good looks. It’s how something works. To really drive the point home, just ask someone with less-than-ideal vision. We’re not kidding. Accessibility is one of the hottest topics in web design today — and it’s gaining momentum. Even as, say, Flexbox promises to make websites easier to use on mobile devices, we keep hearing about designers who factor screen readers and assistive devices into their product design. On the one hand, it’s common sense. On the other, it’s hard to remember that, frankly, not everyone has fine motor skills. Or great vision. Or hearing. Yet they use the web, though they’re less likely to use a website that doesn’t help them get around. To help improve the situation we’ve been honing our accessibility know-how, and now we’re pleased to say that accessibility is the highlight of Foundation 5.4. Now it’s easier than ever for you to reach a wider audience! Responsive web design is more than screen width; it’s also responding to many different devices and browsers — and not excluding people from the equation. This month we look at articles that explore issues and solutions in web accessibility.

Accessibility teaser web

  • 1

    Making the Web Accessible for Everyone

    Defining accessibility is as important as defining your goals. Accessibility statements declare one’s intent, commitment, and sometimes instructions for using websites and apps. You need one because …

  • 2

    Free Checklist: Designing for Website Accessibility

    The Whole Brain Group cuts to the chase with their handy design checklist. This list, written with designers in mind, covers five key areas in accessibility. And those five are …

  • 3

    Summer Fun Time with Accessible Testing

    WCAG. Like the web needs another technology-laden acronym. But the experience behind the letters can make a world of difference. This article tells one intern’s story of the summer in which they got it. Now they can explain …

  • 4

    Colorblind Accessibility Web Design Tips

    We often say that design is more than pretty pictures and awesome aesthetics. It’s how a product works. This article discusses how designers can use color as a tool, not a hindrance, in their accessible designs — and how it doesn’t mean we have to give up good looks. In fact, it means …

  • 5

    On Creating an Accessible Mobile Web

    With their smooth glass screens, you’d be forgiven for thinking that smartphones, tablets and e-readers are hopelessly inaccessible. But mobile devices and accessibility aren’t complete strangers. As we continue to discover what the term “mobile web” really means, this article explains how the author of Adaptive Web Design went from print to web to people-centric design. Today his work includes …

  • 6

    Web Development Reading List: Accessibility

    Making sites accessible sometimes means retrofitting existing products. But as this article explains, working sensible practices into your workflow doesn’t require massive changes — and the benefits pay off …

  • 7

    Organizations, Accessibility, and Change

    Making sites accessible is your problem. It’s also your team’s problems, your coworkers’, your manager’s, and everyone in your organization. The more people understand the principles and believe in the importance behind making sites usable by all, the more they will appreciate the work involved. This article covers change within organizations …

  • 8

    How to be a Keyboard Accessibility Superhero

    For many people, keyboards are the primary interaction with the web. Physical, emulated or onscreen — the spirit of the law relates directly to its letters. Puns aside, being able to navigate a site by keyboard is a must, according to this article by Simply Accessible. And it’s not hard …

  • 9

    Social Media and Tech Sites Must be Accessible to Everyone

    Twitter, Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram shared one thing in common this month: None showed up to the FCC event about accessing social media with non-sighted browsers. (Representatives from LinkedIn, however, did.) As this article quotes, “social media companies are anti-social.” But the situation may start improving …

  • 10

    Foundation Now Helps You Build Accessible Sites

    Read about how Foundation, our responsive CSS framework, can help you build websites that work well on a variety of devices — and we don’t mean iPhones vs. Androids.

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