There are a ton of great online resources on accessibility. Here are some that I’ve found useful.
I’m an accessibility ally—someone who is not an expert on accessibility but who is continually learning and trying to do better.
There are a lot of online resources on digital accessibility. The rich options can make it hard to find the most helpful material, so here are some of my favorites. (This list will most definitely be updated!)
Items are listed in no particular order.
Guidelines and standards
- WCAG 101: Understanding the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines: An introduction to WCAG—what it is, who it’s for. A very good place to start if you want to learn about digital accessibility.
- W3C Web Accessibility Initiative: Accessibility Fundamentals Overview: This site is probably the most comprehensive resource for how to ensure web accessibility. From this page, you can find more about accessibility (e.g., how people with disabilities use the web), the essential components and principles.
- Disability Rights Florida: 15 Best Online Accessibility Practices: I like this blog post, as it’s easy to read and covers all the basics.
- WebAIM: Alternative Text: A full explanation of what alt text is and how to use it effectively for images that are functional, decorative, or advanced.
- DIAGRAM: Poet Image Description: “an image description training site” where you can practice writing alt text.
- Digital Services Georgia: 2 Adding Alt Text to Images & Tables: You can add alt text to tables too. Also includes a great list of what makes good alt text.
Describing race in alt text
- Léonie Watson: Thoughts on skin tone and text descriptions: Considerations for including skin tone in alt text. By Léonie Watson.
- Shopify UX: The case for describing race in alternative text attributes: It’s important to describe race in alt text so the default isn’t “white.” By Tolu Adegbite.
Audio and visual media
- W3C Web Accessibility Initiative: Making Audio and Video Media Accessible: Detailed instructions on how to make audio and video media accessible.
- UX Collective: Emojis and accessibility: how to use them properly: How to make emoji use more accessible. By Ryan Tan.
Epubs and PDFs
- DAISY Consortium: “Tools, standards, advice and best practices for publishing and reading to ensure accessibility for people with print disabilities.” Also see its Inclusive Publishing initiative to help you navigate the resources.
- BISG Guide to Accessible Publishing & Cheat Sheets: Comprehensive toolkit explaining the whys and hows of accessible publishing. Includes cheat sheets you can use to convince others to get on board.
- Rachel Comerford: Use EPUBs, Please (PDF): Handout from an AHEAD webinar, “Understanding the Accessibility Differences in EPUB and PDF Reading Experiences.” (Go to the bottom of the page to download the handout.)
Preparing accessible PDFs
- City and County of San Francisco: Developing Accessible PDFs: A concise overview of how to create accessible PDFs. Good to start with this one and then search for more detailed help.
- Accessible PDF: Overview of the PDF tags: Comprehensive list of PDF tags.
Microsoft Word and PowerPoint
- Microsoft: Inclusive Design: Microsoft explains why inclusive design matters and offers resources (videos, guides) to explore and learn from.
- Microsoft: Make your Word documents accessible to people with disabilities: Microsoft help article on how to make Word documents accessible.
- Microsoft: Make your PowerPoint presentations accessible to people with disabilities: Step-by-step guide on making PowerPoint slides accessible
- Microsoft: Everything you need to know to write effective alt text: How to write and use effective alt text in Microsoft products.
- UniversalUsability: Use tables for layout only when necessary: Tables are for presenting structured information. We shouldn’t use tables to lay out content on a page.
- EdX: Introduction to Web Accessibility: Free WC3 course, hosted on EdX.
- DAISY Learning: A few free accessibility learning resources hosted by the DAISY Consortium (check out the Accessible Word Documents course). DAISY also has great free 1-hour webinars that you can watch on demand. (You may need to explore within their event archives.)
- Accessible Social: “A hub for digital marketers, comms professionals, others who want to begin learning how to make their social media accessible.”
User interfaces and experience (UI and UX)
- Accessibility Handbook: Giving a Damn about Accessibility: “A candid and practical handbook for designers.”” By Sheri Byrne-Haber, CPACC.
- Babylon DNA Accessibility Guidelines: A great example of designing user interfaces with accessibility in mind, by an online health services company.
- Shopify: Designing for Cognitive Disabilities: By Tolu Adegbite. An insightful look into designing the user interface for cognitive disabilities.
- Venngage: A Total Guide to Accessible Colors [Including Palettes & Templates]: It’s exactly as the title says. It’s pretty amazing. By Jessie Strongitharm.
- W3C Web Accessibility Initiative: Writing for Web Accessibility: “introduces some basic considerations to help you get started writing web content that is more accessible to people with disabilities.”
Are there others that you recommend? Please let me know in a comment or send me a message!