Accessibility Master Class

Robert Jolly, Becky Gibson, Eric Eggert

Accessing Higher Ground · November 2018

Web Accessibility Perspectives

How People with Disabilities Use the Web

There are many reasons why people may be experiencing varying degrees of auditory, cognitive, physical, speech, and visual disabilities. For instance, some may have disabilities from birth, an illness, disease, or accident, or they may develop impairments with age. Some may not consider themselves to have disabilities even if they do experience such functional limitations.


  • Hard of hearing – mild or moderate hearing impairments in one or both ears.
  • Deafness – substantial, uncorrectable impairment of hearing in both ears.
  • Deaf-blindness – substantial, uncorrectable hearing and visual impairments.

Cognitive, learning, and neurological

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mental health disabilities
  • Memory impairments
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurodiversity
  • Perceptual disabilities
  • Seizure disorders


  • Amputation
  • Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatism
  • Reduced dexterity
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Repetitive stress injury (RSI)
  • Tremor and spasms
  • Quadriplegia


  • Apraxia of speech (AOS)
  • Cluttering
  • Dysarthria
  • Speech sound disorder
  • Stuttering
  • Muteness


  • Color blindness
  • Low vision
  • Blindness
  • Deaf-blindness

It’s all a spectrum and many have one or more needs at the same time.

Accessibility Design Principles

North Star







CMS, Comments, …

Browsers, Screen Readers, Switches, …

Websites, PDFs,

Web Applications, …

Web Content Principles

from WCAG 2





Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.

Text Alternatives

Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language.

Time-based Media

Provide alternatives for time-based media.

Captions, Transcripts, Audio Descriptions


Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure.


Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.


User interface components and navigation must be operable.

Keyboard Accessible

Make all functionality available from a keyboard.

Keyboard Accessible

Make all functionality available from a keyboard interface.

Enough Time

Provide users enough time to read and use content.

Seizures (and Physical Reactions)

Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures (or physical reactions).


Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are.

Input Modalities

Make it easier for users to operate functionality through various inputs beyond keyboard.


in 2.1


Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.


Make text content readable and understandable.


Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.

Input Assistance

Help users avoid and correct mistakes.


Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.


Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.

Principles & Guidelines:

The Spirit of the Law

Success Criteria:

The Letter of the Law

3 Levels:

A — AA — AAA


Technically accessible does not necessarily mean usable by

people with disabilities.

The Accessibility Mindset

In the time of table layouts, web developers could create code that passed validation rules but didn’t adhere to the underlying semantic HTML model. We later developed best practices, like using lists for navigation, and with HTML5 we started to wrap those lists in nav elements.


Working with accessibility standards is similar. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 can inform your decision to make websites accessible and can be used to test that you met the success criteria.


What it can’t do is measure how well you met them.

Other talks @ AHG 2018

  • Understanding WCAG 2.1 – Becky – Wed. 9:15am
  • Including people with disabilities in your project design, development, testing process – Robert – Wed. 2:15pm
  • What the heck is all this EPUB Hubbub about? – Becky – Wed. 2:15pm
  • How to Meet WCAG Requirements with Free WAI Resources – Robert & Eric – Thu. 8:00am & 9:15am
  • Keep it Simple. Accessible Design Thinking – Eric – Thu. 4pm
  • Teaching Accessibility & Multi-Screen Design: A Content Strategy Master’s Course – Eric – Fri. 10:30am

More also at AccessU!

Workshops: May 14 2019

Classes: May 15–17 2019

Austin, TX

Knowbility Accessibility Master Class

By Eric Eggert

Knowbility Accessibility Master Class

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