Posts in: Accessibility

To read: Centering Accessibility in Data Visualization, published by the Urban Institute.

“The authors explore why and how to create accessible data content, discussing issues such as how organizations can incorporate accessibility throughout their process, how to write effective alternative (alt) text, and how to implement accessible content onto the web.”

I’m at a new organization, and we publish a lot of data. In my role as a UI designer, I may be asked to help with data visualization in 2023. Hoping this timely guidance can help us shape our data practice and accessibility practice. One theme in particular sticks out:

Accessibility should not be a specialty. Anyone working with data or creating digital content should understand and strive to produce accessible products. Although some of the aspects of creating accessible online content clearly require technical experience, the work should not be left to a single person or some subset of the team.”

a man in a navy sweatshirt and glasses wearing a bright blue knit hat

A happy Blue Beanie Day to everyone out there today. You can read this message thanks to Web Standards.

I keep a list of links to my favorite accessibility resources from a page of my personal website. Most are beginner-friendly entry points. There’s no better time to get started with accessibility than right now.

I got early access to a managed version of Equalify, an open source accessibility platform by Blake Bertuccelli. Right now, the main integration is with WAVE, an automated accessibility checker, with integrations with both Drupal and WordPress coming soon. Check out the app roadmap, and repo on GitHub.

As I spend more time using the product, I will write up a more detailed overview with screenshots.

Todd Libby: Use Firefox for accessibility testing, featured on the A11y Project.

A terrific overview of the built-in accessibility dev tools in the Firefox browser, as well as extensions you can install to make the browser a super-powered accessibility testing tool.

New York Times: For Blind Internet Users, the Fix Can Be Worse Than the Flaws

Last year, more than 400 companies with an accessibility widget or overlay on their website were sued over accessibility, according to data collected by a digital accessibility provider.

“I’ve not yet found a single one that makes my life better,” said [Patrick] Perdue, 38, who lives in Queens. He added, “I spend more time working around these overlays than I actually do navigating the website.”

Want to read Included: Redefining Accessibility for the World Wide Web by Molly E. Holzschlag 📚

In Included: Redefining Accessibility for the World Wide Web open-standards web expert author and presenter Molly E. Holszschlag shows non-technical and technical readers alike that building websites to be inclusive and accessible is good for business, growth, and for people everywhere. She starts by explaining what it means to have a web that is accessible to everyone of all abilities, anywhere globally, and even accessible to anything human and machine. She then tackles how different sensory perceptions can be used to ease human computer interaction. For organizations she outlines the processes, workflows, expertise, and testing needed to deliver on organization goals for inclusive access. And she does all this with a minimum of code, showing the web designer that yes, coding for inclusion is built in to web principles rather than something added on later and showing managers and leaders how their organization will benefit from this inclusive web design.

Let’s Make a Design System!

Frontend Stampede: Let’s Make a Design System! I bookmarked this to watch a while ago and I’m glad I took the time to watch it. This is a replay of a live Twitch stream hosted by Alex Trost, with Mike Aparicio sharing many lessons he’s learned from building design systems. As a demo, Mike did a CSS refactor and built a fledgling design system based on the home page, walking through the steps he took to get there.

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Open UI: Solving a Multi-Decade Problem

This presentation by Melanie Edwards and Greg Whitworth is a great introduction to the Open UI project and its goals. Today, component frameworks and design systems reinvent common web UI controls to give designers full control over their appearance and behavior. We hope to make it unnecessary to reinvent built-in UI controls, but for those who choose to do so, we expect that these design systems will benefit from Open UI's specifications and test suites.

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