• Author: Ricky Onsman
  • Date: 10 Dec 2012
  • Access: Free

If you work to the standards already known to be best practice, you are most likely well acquainted with web accessibility. Much of web accessibility is about good practice, common sense, empathy and inclusion.

At a practical level, the more familiar you become with web accessibility principles and techniques, the more you'll find yourself incorporating them automatically into your work. This becomes particularly true when you consider that web accessibility is built on the core concept of simply making web content available to as many people as possible.

What has stymied a lot of people in the past when considering how to implement web accessibility is a lack of clear definitions, effective methods and measurable outcomes. That's what WCAG 2.0 aims to provide.

The guidelines, success criteria and techniques are intended to be tools for web developers as much as content producers and designers, meant to influence every aspect of the process of creating a website.

They work best and are most easily implemented at the earliest stages of web development, informing and shaping design concepts and how they are implemented. They should continue to inform the development process and beyond. Again, the major principles and much of the detail is synonymous with best practice, so it shouldn't be beyond any professional.

While it is not a bad idea for every web developer to be familiar with all of WCAG 2.0, it is also possible to tease out guidelines most likely to be regarded as primarily their responsibility, whether that's as part of a large corporate or government web team, a small company or agency, as a freelancer or consultant, from the graphic designer to the front end developer and everything in between.

Developing a website accessible to people with disability means developing a better website.

No matter which process you use to bring a website from an idea to a live web presence, this guide gives you the means to do it in an accessible way.