Today is the 7th Global Accessibility Awareness Day when we encourage everyone to think about making their websites, apps and products accessible. Accessibility is not just about conforming to standards; it’s about improving the experience for people with disabilities and preferences.
The SlideWiki project has set out to create an accessible and inclusive platform. We are lucky enough to have organisations working with disabled people as well as digital accessibility experts collaborating on the project. Involving disabled people in the planning processes, design, and development as well as testing is critical to sure that our platform is usable and accessible for all.
Making sure a complex web application like SlideWiki is accessible, is a journey. We have to balance each new feature with how it will affect the experience of all users, including those with physical, sensory and cognitive disabilities. However, there are simple guidelines we focus on when developing:
- Design our colour and styles to minimise colour contrast issues
- Check that all interactive elements can be accessed using a mouse, touch or keyboard
- Ensure all form fields have labels that can be detected programmatically
- Check that all necessary content can be read by a screen reader and the reading order is correct
- Make sure icons are familiar to users and have labels when needed
- Give images meaningful alternative text.
We are also using the SlideWiki platform to provide free, open course materials on accessibility. To learn more about Accessibility why not start with the Overview to Accessibility deck on SlideWiki.