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Hiram Gonzalez
Hiram Gonzalez

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Actionable Tips for Building Accessible Websites (and Why it Matters)

Following up on my last post about web accessibility, let's dive into some practical tips you can start applying to your projects to build more inclusive websites:

✅ Use semantic HTML elements that clearly convey the meaning and structure of the content.
✅ Write descriptive alternative text (alt text) for images and non-text content to help visually impaired users understand the visual information.
✅ Maintain sufficient color contrast between text and background colors to enhance readability.
✅ Provide sufficient spacing between words to help people with visual, cognitive, and learning disabilities process information.
✅ Ensure that all functionality is accessible using only the keyboard.
✅ Implement ARIA attributes to provide assistive technologies with additional information about website elements.
✅ Test your site regularly throughout development using browser developer tools with accessibility audits and screen readers.

On the other hand, to initiate a change in team/organizational culture, you can do the following:

✅ Consider diverse user needs and accessibility principles during the planning, design, and development phases of your project.
✅ Emphasize the importance of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) compliance, with WCAG 2.2 as a priority.
✅ Update your knowledge of Web accessibility and the libraries you use in your projects on a regular basis.
✅ While developers can implement best practices, consult with legal professionals who specialize in accessibility to ensure full legal compliance in specific regions.

While front-end developers have an important role to play, accessibility is not their responsibility alone; it is a collaborative effort. By working with designers, back-end developers, and other stakeholders, front-end developers can make a significant contribution to building a more inclusive web. By following these tips and fostering a culture of accessibility within your team, you can create websites that everyone can use.

Real-world examples such as the BBC, Eventbrite, Mighty Networks, Barclays, Harvard University, and others are great sources of inspiration for creating accessible digital experiences. If you'd like to see the accessibility features of these examples in more detail, try running them through an accessibility checker like WAVE.

Share your thoughts in the comments, and let's make accessibility a priority for our teams and organizations.

Visit the following websites for additional accessibility resources:
🔗 W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
🔗 WebAIM
🔗 A11Y Project
🔗 UsableNet
🔗 New Zealand Digital Accessibility Centre

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