I am Marcy Sutton. Ask me anything.

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Chris Atherton's photo

"I learned we can all make a big difference on the web for people with disabilities by designing and developing inclusively." I can't agree more.

  • There is so much being written on Progressive Web Apps, Mobile First Design; but there is a serious lack of content when it comes to "Accesibility First Design"; what do you think of it?

  • What are a few things that can we do to design websites that are inclusive to blind people?

Marcy Sutton's photo

Senior front-end engineer, accessibility advocate & public speaker

My hope is that accessibility is integrated into each of those topics so it doesn't get left behind. Of course, as an accessibility advocate, I would hope accessibility would be first, but the challenge is that everything can't be first. Security first, mobile first, offline-first...which one is actually first depends on how the learner got there. For that reason, I try to speak and write about how accessibility is relevant to other topics, since there are always interesting points to be made–hence my talks on Mobile Web Accessibility, Accessibility and Performance and Accessibility of the Shadow DOM / Web Components. As new technologies come about, we will always have the opportunity to highlight their impact on accessibility. Always. Despite being told "accessibility has been solved" by a conference CFP early in my career, it hasn't been solved. We get to keep bringing it up, and that's what makes it interesting.

A few things you can do to design websites that are inclusive to the blind and visually impaired: turn off your screen and ditch your mouse. Follow an accessibility design checklist like this one from WebAIM: http://webaim.org/resources/designers/. For development, use accessibility testing tools such as aXe and the Chrome Accessibility Inspector.

But you should also keep in mind that accessibility is more broad than blindness and low vision–there are also many people with physical, hearing and cognitive disabilities. That's where testing tools and checklists can help, in addition to usability testing with actual people with disabilities.

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