The power of the web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.Tim Berners-Lee
Hey, I’m John Sweet. I have worked in accessibility for over 6 years, initially as an accessibility tester and Director of IT at Knowbility, Inc., and presently as a Senior Manager in Accessibility at Charter Communications (known to customers as Spectrum). In that time I have solved unique problems in HTML and iOS accessibility and worked with qualified engineers and accessibility experts who share my passion. Now I want to share that passion with you.
If you landed on my blog you are probably a designer or a developer looking for accessibility guidance. Digital accessibility is a growing field, and while there are a lot of qualified experts out there, there are no real compendiums of knowledge on detailed topics or credible online courses that go deeper than surface level.
I am not interested in reiterating the guidance that has been shared a thousand times before. “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” –quote from an obscure text about common problems in web accessibility.
The purpose of this blog is to examine single, specific problems in major detail. Instead of ruminating on whether accessibility makes design better or worse (better), or setting the record straight with the 1000th article on how to write alt text, or linking you out to the best contrast checkers on the web, the posts on this blog will dive into component-level problems, in code, line-by-line.
Have your developers asked you, or are you a developer asking, how to make an iOS switch like the ones in the Settings app? Or how to make a progress spinner that won’t make your users dizzy?–The best way to handle form errors?–How to tell JAWS, VoiceOver, and TalkBack to announce your will? This blog will give you the design philosophy, the UX strategy, and the best practice markup to achieve it.
For resources beyond what I provide here, I recommend checking out the blogs of other established experts in the accessibility field: Scott O’Hara, Leonie Watson, Derek Featherstone, Marcy Sutton, Denis Boudreau, Elle Waters, and Karl Groves.