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Cover image for [On-Demand Talk] Demystifying Web Accessibility Contributor
josefineschaefer
josefineschaefer

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[On-Demand Talk] Demystifying Web Accessibility Contributor

About this talk

Right after I started my first job, the client I was working for had to implement web accessibility as a legal requirement, which was a pretty big deal as it concerned a large legacy codebase, many different stakeholders and most people on the team didn’t have much experience with the topic.

Since everything was new to me, I didn’t mind much about what I would learn first - but I was very excited about learning something that benefited a diverse community of people.

I was lucky enough to have a bunch of amazing mentors and I would like to share some of the things I learned along the way with you - hope they help you on your journey.

Takeaways

  1. The basics of Web Accessibility
  2. Why it’s important and who benefits from it
  3. Basic terminology regarding Web Accessibility
  4. Where and how to get started with implementation

More specifically, we will look at three things you can do today to make your application a little more accessible, including:

  • Semantic HTML
  • Color Contrast
  • Keyboard Accessibility

If there is only one thing you take away from my talk, however, it would be that in the case of web accessibility, 10% is better than nothing. It’s an ongoing journey of improvement - but it’s important to start somewhere :)

Slides

>> Click here to download slides

🌈 Comment below and ask me questions — I might just answer them during my live speaker discussion!


About Josefine Schaefer

Josefine is a frontend engineer based in Hamburg, Germany. She describes herself as "ready to take over the world by storm" on good days and "wondering when she will be exposed as the imposter she is" on bad ones.


This on-demand talk is part of CodeLand 2021 — a virtual conference brought to you by CodeNewbie & DEV on September 23 & 24, 2021.

Discussion (45)

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ellativity profile image
Ella Ang (she/her/elle)

Thanks for joining us here in the discussion for @josefineschaefer 's CodeLand 2021 talk!

We would love to know what questions you'd like Josefine to answer in the Speaker Panel later on today: do you have any questions about a11y or WCAG? What about your own implementation? Josefine would love to hear from you!

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jrrohrer profile image
Jessie Rohrer

Are there any certifications for accessibility?
Also, are there resources that help determine whether animations are used in an accessible way?

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s_aitchison profile image
Suzanne Aitchison

Hi @jrrohrer - the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) offer well-recognised certifications in accessibility! Let me know if you want to chat about them - I recently completed the CPACC (Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies) and I'm now preparing for the WAS (Web Accessibility Specialist).

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jrrohrer profile image
Jessie Rohrer

Thanks for that info and the offer to chat :) I am signed up for today's workshop on accessibility, and will definitely reach out if I have questions.

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s_aitchison profile image
Suzanne Aitchison

Awesome! See you in the workshop 😄

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josefineschaefer profile image
josefineschaefer Author

You mean certifications for your own qualifications, right? :)
For example Udacity offers a free Web Accessibility course by Google and there are also certifications for trainings by Deque University, for example.

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jrrohrer profile image
Jessie Rohrer

Yes! I am working through a bootcamp right now, and there hasn't been a lot of information on accessibility beyond using semantic HTML. I am interested in pursuing accessibility, but wasn't sure if there was a recognized certification or further programming I could check out. Thanks for your response!

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Layale Matta • Edited

I love Sara Soueidan's video course: practical-accessibility.today

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jrrohrer profile image
Jessie Rohrer

Thanks! I'll check it out :)

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glennchon profile image
Glenn

Whats everyone's favorite accessibility reference websites? As someone that doesn't use any accessibility tools, I have no idea what is considered good and I think it'd be great to have a list of sites I can go check out.

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itsasine profile image
Kayla

In the beginning slides, there was a reference to the Microsoft Inclusive Toolkit. It's my favorite! And it covers the mix of different types of a11y to consider.

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josefineschaefer profile image
josefineschaefer Author

If you have a concrete topic in might, it can be useful to checkout the guidelines on WCAG (w3.org/TR/WCAG21/) - that's where you can be sure you comply with the rules.
In terms of tools, here is also an extensive list: w3.org/WAI/ER/tools/
And shout out to Stefan Judis who put together a great list of further reading and many interesting resources about accessibility: https://www.stefanjudis.com/useful-accessibility-resources/?utm_source=stefanjudis&utm_medium=email

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jhermann profile image
Jürgen Hermann
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amneet profile image
amneet-b

Hi! Reminder that if you have any questions for @josefineschaefer to drop them here! We'll address these questions in the live speaker discussion. 📣

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jeremyf profile image
Jeremy Friesen

I love Josefine's advice of turning off CSS. This is such a great way to learn how machines "see" your site.

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callumreid

I am wondering if there are any packages that go about the job of checking if contrast issues are being coded into CSS? Maybe something that notifies you when you approach points at or near too little contrast

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terabytetiger profile image
Tyler V. (he/him)

It won't notify you automatically, but Lighthouse Reports will catch contrast issues.

There's also an abundance of Chrome Extensions out there to check (maybe one of them will alert you automatically) - I like this one.

There may be a VS Code extension that can check your CSS for you?

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josefineschaefer profile image
josefineschaefer Author

That would be really cool - I personally haven't used any yet, but please let me know if you find one! I always check in the browser with a color contrast checker. There are also ones that let you use a color picker and check for different font sizes, which might be handy :)

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jhermann profile image
Jürgen Hermann

Google "w3c contrast checker" and use the one you like.

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callumreid profile image
callumreid

Noted-- thank you!

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fizzybuzzybeezy profile image
fizzybuzzybeezy

Thank you for this talk Josephine. Macular degeneration runs in my family and I've often wondered how to help them navigate the web for socializing, shopping, and entertainment. There are some solutions, but not enough.

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fizzybuzzybeezy profile image
fizzybuzzybeezy • Edited

Also, great point on contrast. On my personal backgrounds, I like to use #2a2a2a which translate to R42 G42 B42. I call this hitchhiker gray in honor of "Hitchhikers's Guide to the Galaxy" and it's answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything being (confusingly) 42. Anyway, I pair this with fonts in pastels. It's just a mnemonic that's worked for me. Fun and helpful topics! -- Updated to remove trivia biases!

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josefineschaefer profile image
josefineschaefer Author

That sounds like a good color combo! Things like ensuring content is zoomable to 200% is also important if you are looking to help people with visual impairments :)

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fizzybuzzybeezy profile image
fizzybuzzybeezy

Good point. I'll keep the zoom-ability factor in mind! My elderly aunt loves her books on tape, but if she could read again (somehow) or even play games, that would be amazing. Thank you!

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xelaflash profile image
AlexG

nice one 👏🏼. Always good to have a little refresh of what we can do as dev to help make the web more inclusive.

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kaj profile image
Kajah

I really like that you mention that these accessibility considerations are really beneficial for anyone who uses technology. Thank you for covering this important subject!

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Daryl Nauman

Thanks for this great talk and sharing actionable steps we can take to improve our sites (plus resources to use). It was a lightbulb moment for me to hear about how coding for accessibility can also help a broader range of the population beyond those we might normally think about when working to make our sites more accessible.

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dcipher87 profile image
Khigha Ubisi

Yay! Thank you Josefine. As someone who is new to code, this talk was very useful. Semantic HTML is a habit I will implement immediately in my learning. You explained the importance of accessibility very well. It's a good skill to have in your toolbox because you never know where your career may take you. It's best to be prepared than have this sneak up on you like a spot test. Websites for the most part exist in the public domain and we need to ensure the public can access and benefit from them!

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josefineschaefer profile image
josefineschaefer Author

Absolutely! It's great that you are trying to make this a habit early on in your learning journey, than it will later come naturally to you :)

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raedyping profile image
Raedy Ping PhD

That was such an excellent overview -- thank you

A few things I learned: you can improve accessibility without having to learn anything new:
Use lower brightness colors
Use higher contrast between text and background -- minimum ratio of 4.5:1
"Web Accessibility Simulator"

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Lisa Savoie

Thanks so much for your talk! Any recommendations for tools that I can use and recommend to students. I use WAVE Chrome extension, WebAIM, and ColorHexa but any other tools on how to check for keyboard accessibility would be great. Thanks!

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josefineschaefer profile image
josefineschaefer Author

Thanks for your question! Wave & WebAIM are already great places to start. For keyboard accessibility, it might be a good idea to visualise the tab order (like with taba11y) or with the Accessibility Tab in the Firefox Devtools.
You can find a list of further evaluation tools here: w3.org/WAI/ER/tools/ :)

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noviicee profile image
Novice

Hi Josaphine! Looking forward to this talk.

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noviicee profile image
Novice

Amazing one. Thank you!

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srivera12 profile image
Sarah Rivera

Thank you - this is a great and important topic.

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tracycss profile image
Jane Tracy 👩‍💻

Amazing talk accessibility is really important as we start the journey.
One resource that helps me is Wave extention.

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ckn00b profile image
Christian New

These are amazing resources and fantastic advice. I'll definitely be sharing this with my coworkers. Thank you @josefineschaefer !

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sarahwines profile image
Sarah Lodico Wines

Thank you Josefine! I appreciate all the resources and information for improving web accessibility.

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tristanntn profile image
Tristan

Thanks so much- I believe in inclusion of all, so accessibility is a very important link in making the internet accessibility for all.

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austinxduong

I love this and especially the design and colors. My cousin has down syndrome so I have a soft spot for accessibility 🤗

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sbstn profile image
sbstn98

Thanks for this nice and inspiring talk about web #accesibility at the #codeland2021 Conference! i dealt with the topic some time ago, now it has moved back into my focus :)

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vivianemartini profile image
Viviane Martini

thank you for sharing! excellent content!

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jhermann profile image
Jürgen Hermann

Font choices are missing. People think "tall and thin light grey on dark grey is sooooo cool". Well, it's not.

Read lexend.com/ for the science on why fonts matter!

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clearlythuydoan profile image
Thuy Doan

As someone who is also very passionate about equity on the web and accessibility, I loved that you gave a talk about this at Codeland 2021. I should get going on accessibility talks myself!

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jhermann profile image
Jürgen Hermann

Tools... Try your web page with darkreader.org/, and whether your color choices work when inverted and spread to a proper contrast ratio.