I talk a lot on here about accessibility in development lifecycle, but I am curious to hear from you all.
Do you think that accessibility in development is a difficult thing to grasp or even do? What is an aspect that makes it difficult?
If you think that its relatively easy, share with me what you think has made it easier for you all to grasp.
Let's talk about it!
Top comments (9)
The reason people find it difficult is that it is a "wide but shallow" subject.
There are several things that you need to be aware of all at once when designing even a simple component. This becomes a big barrier for developers, especially those who have already learned a lot of bad habits.
Also the fact that WCAG is one of the least accessible documents I have ever had the "privilege" of reading, so it just becomes overwhelming for people when trying to research answers.
Agreed with all of that. Honestly, when developers bring up accessibility I do my damndest to try and simplify it. No WCAG, just what they are on the hook for, and giving them guidance on what they need to learn that isn't anything and everything.
I wanted to use this discussion to see what else developers think makes accessibility so difficult to do. Always trying to learn and adjust how I approach it :)
I think I agree with you, but I wanna know: why would you say WCAG isnt accessible? What is your worst problem with the docs?
They are so verbose, they lack examples and in some places they just plain contradict each other.
For example, I wrote a 2000 word article trying to answer:
"Is a placeholder and no label acceptable on an input"
The answer from common knowledge is obviously no, but in the end I actually landed on "it is OK, according to WCAG".
I was shocked 😱 that placeholder text on an <input> (instead of a <label>) might TECHNICALLY PASS WCAG⁉ Do you agree?
GrahamTheDev ・ Jul 15 '21 ・ 10 min read
When it comes to accessibility, many developers may feel overwhelmed and think that they need to address a multitude of issues all at once. However, it's important to shift our mindset and view accessibility as an integral part of the development process rather than an afterthought.
While it may be daunting to strive for perfection in terms of accessibility, it's important to remember that any effort to improve accessibility is better than none at all. Simple steps such as adding alt messages for images can make a significant difference in improving accessibility for those with visual impairments.
In short, rather than feeling overwhelmed, developers should aim to make incremental improvements to accessibility and prioritize its integration into the development process from the outset. By doing so, we can create more inclusive and accessible digital experiences for all users.
Absolutely! It is very true that most people want a very simple 'point and click' solution for accessibility that fixes it all at once. But that doesn't exist and so they say "we gotta fix it all!"
The small wins are the most important ones, and yes it takes time to get there but the reward is a culture of accessibility that sticks. The one thing I always preach is small phases of accessibility in dev lifecycle, the problem is, what if a team loses interest? Thats the part that has been difficult to figure out is how to keep them interested with all other work that comes in
Yeah, keeping the team interested in accessibility can be tough. But one thing that can help is to make sure we're looking out for accessibility issues during code reviews. That way, we catch any problems early on and can fix them before they turn into a bigger headache. Another trick is to use accessibility linting tools that flag accessibility issues in the code as we write it. That makes it easy to remember to include accessibility and keeps it part of our regular development process. if it becomes a natural part of the team's workflow, it will be easy to build and maintain a culture of accessibility that lasts.
For web dev at least, WCAG compliance is particularly challenging because a lot of front end devs have surprisingly limited HTML comprehension. The evidence is overwhelming that FE developers are hired for JS/CSS with no one vetting their basic HTML skills.
I get why this is--even when I went to university, you couldn't get credit for HTML learning in the CompSci track because of its perceived simplicity. It was--and still is--relegated to self-learning at the post-secondary level.
I also tend to de-emphasize WCAG when introducing devs to a11y concepts.