This site is currently in Draft as it’s still being built. It will eventually contain resources for all things accessibility, development best practices, testing guides, and tools.
Accessibility is one of the most important aspects of modern web development. Accessibility means the greatest number of users can view your content. It means search engines will be able to read your site more completely. Users of all types will have a better experience if you take accessibility concerns into account. And least of all, it is a required by law for all federal EIT products to be accessible (with a few minor exceptions).
Accessibility works best when incorporated into an agile production environment. It’s very hard to adequately address accessibility concerns at the end of a project, but if taken into account at the beginning, it’s quite straightforward and cost effective. The best and perhaps only way to ensure this is done, is training and education. Every member of a production team should be aware of what accessibility concerns are and a basic understanding of how they are addressed.
Here at 18F we follow WCAG2.0 AA as our standard for accessibility. We do this for a couple of reasons. WCAG has long been the gold standard for accessibility on the web. The access board has also been working on a refresh to the correct 508 standards to incorporate WCAG2.0 AA into the standards. This sets us up for a smooth transition when that happens. Finally, under 1194.5 of the section 508 standards allows us to use a set of standards that meet the current standards.
If you have any questions about accessiblity, 508, or would like help, please reach out on the GitHub Repo.
Disclaimer: This resource is intended to help 18f develop accessible products and is not a replacement for the standards defined by the Access Board. Please visit the Access Board for information on 508 and their compliance criteria.
- HTML CodeSniffer - use this for a quick audit of any URL
- Colour Contrast Analyser
- pa11y automated CLI 508 tool
- Accessibility Developer Tools - Chrome
- Web Developer - Chrome
- Inspector - Windows
- This tool is used by the Department of Homeland Security for their Trusted Tester Program
- Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List
Sites and tutorials
- 18F Accessibility Checklist
- 508 Laws
- The full section 508 standards
- The Accessibility Project
- Accessibility Blog
- ARIA practical Examples
- CFPB’s building accessible interfaces guide
- Creating Accessible PDFs
- GSA’s 508 Policies
- Making Files Accessible PDF, Word, Excel, Powerpoint
- Required fixes for PDFs
- Simply Accessible
- A great blog and resource with articles about modern accessibility.
- Tips for creating Accessible SVGs
- Udacity Web Accessibility Course
- Free web accessibility course by Google
- Viget Interactive WCAG 2.0
- Interactive accessibility (WCAG) guide by responsibility (content, design, dev, front end, UX)
- VO Compatibility for iOS
- Vox Accessibility Guidelines Checklist
- w3 ARIA documentation
- Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) is used in modern browsers to provide additional information to assistive technologies. (IE 8+, Chrome, Firefox, Mobile, full ARIA browser list)
- Not accepted by DHS
- WAI Tutorials
- Web Aim’s 10 easy accessibility tips