The 8th Light University Archives Series features engaging, innovative talks featuring 8th Light designers and developers sharing their insights and knowledge. Join as we cultivate a culture of continuous learning.
Web accessibility (a11y) continues to be a key need that isn’t always prioritized in web development projects. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, more of our work, communication, and leisurely activities involve interacting through the internet. That shift has especially impacted those with physical disabilities or technical limitations that affect their ability to navigate everyday life.
Standards exist for these groups in mind — namely WCAG — but following these standards often are an afterthought for many businesses. Worse yet, they can be low on the priority list altogether.
In this talk, I focus on increasing accessibility through testing tools and clean code practices. The goal is to show how making applications a11y compliant can easily be incorporated into development workflows and a part of development standards.
Accessibility Evaluation Tools & Learning Resources
Additionally, I want to provide a variety of evaluation tools and learning resources for those interested in getting started. The a11y project checklist summarizes the relevance of each level of compliance and is a solid reference.
- Evaluation tools (Official W3 Resources)
- Built-in Chrome Tools
- Google Lighthouse - A website quality tool that generates a report that grades (among other things) how a11y compliant a site is. To check it out yourself, open Developer Tools → Open the mini menu and select “Lighthouse”.
- Chrome Extensions
- SilkTide - Disability simulator - This is useful if you want to see how someone with a screen reader would traverse your site or how your site would look to someone that’s colorblind or dyslexic.
- WAVE Evaluation Tool - Generates an accessibility report, but strictly reports against WCAG 2.1 failures.
- Learning Resources
- If you’re interested in learning more about a11y and implementing it into your work, watch Rob Dobeson’s a11y series on YouTube. He goes over accessibility concepts along with coding examples.
- Another resource for learning about accessibility is Macy Sutton. Her entire site is a great resource, and includes a list of her accessibility resources and books to learn more about it.
About Naomi Dennis
Naomi is an 8th Light senior crafter and software developer based out of New York City with a passion for writing code that lasts. She started as an 8th Light apprentice and quickly uncovered a new way of thinking about code. From there, she’s grown as a developer to incorporate testing and delivery quality code. She also has a clear passion for cybersecurity. Learn more about Naomi and her career at 8th Light.
About 8th Light University
8th Light University (8LU) is a semi-regular virtual event that is managed by 8th Light Inc, a global software consultancy. Topics focus on improving the craft of software development. Developers of all skill levels are welcome! Watch past event videos on YouTube or join the 8LU group to find out about upcoming events.