A first step towards accessibility

I’ve admittedly never thought much accessibility when it come to web development. While I’ve come across efforts to increase awareness of accessibility needs from time to time, such efforts never speak to actionable items that can be taken by developers.

Take for example the recent article Designing for Everyone, in UX Magazine, from which my only takeaway was a need to be aware of the accessibility needs of your audience. In theory that sounds great, but such information is not trivial to gather, you can’t simply open up Google Analytics and find out what percentage of your user base has limited motor skills. For individuals and smaller companies, I can’t see where the time or money would come from to do such user studies.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I came across the post Accessibility and web developers on Paul Irish’s blog, and saw the following:

During a Nicholas Zakas & Victor Tsaran talk years ago I finally grokked the easiest rule for a first step towards accessibility. For such a long time, we conflated functionality while JavaScript-disabled with “being accessible”. It took me years to learn that making it keyboard-navigable was the top priority.

This is personally eye-opening for me but also, from a developer’s perspective, it’s a task that can be readily tackled.