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First Steps towards more Accessibility

I know, accessibility can be daunting. Especially when you take your first look at the abundance of WCAG criteria and resources available. My advice: Take a deep breath, pick a topic you're interested in (e.g. semantic markup) and improve one thing in your website or app. Accessibility isn't an "all or nothing" issue! Every single improvement counts.

Where to begin?

Here's a list of first improvements you can make to your website or app:

  • Check the color contrast of text, graphical elements and UI components. High color contrast especially helps older people who are less able to make out low contrast patterns. Related WCAG criteria: 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum) and 1.4.11: Non-text Contrast.

  • Interact with your website only using a keyboard. Can you navigate to all interactive elements via the tab key? If not, check if the elements are implemented with the correct semantic markup (e.g. button and link tags). On your smartphone, use the screen reader to navigate via swiping and check if interactive elements are correctly identified and can be activated. Related WCAG criteria: 2.1.1: Keyboard and 4.1.2: Name, Role, Value.

  • Do your videos offer captions? Captions enable people who are deaf or hard of hearing to watch videos. At the same time, everyone benefits who finds themselves in a situation where they can't listen to the audio (e.g. in a crowded subway with no headphones). Related WCAG criteria: 1.2.2: Captions (Prerecorded)

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