Accessibility as a Framework

When I tweeted this awhile back:

If web designers and developers put as much energy into accessibility as they do building “frameworks,” the Web would be a lot better off.

One response really got my mind turning:

Sounds like a11y could use a framework.

I’ve chewed on that ever since. I responded with:

It’s less about needing another framework and more about collaborating, infusing a11y into existing projects.

If you’re a web designer or developer, I bet you’ve used a framework before. They exist everywhere, from style guides that help focus designs to front end frameworks that aid in building user interfaces. Programming languages have them too – from tried and true staples like PHP to the new JavaScript-based ones.

We use frameworks because they give us a head start on our design or code while allowing us to employ battle-tested, repeatable patterns so we can create a higher quality product in less time.

In my original response, I was on the right track, but I missed the point, really. The core of my response could have been:

View accessibility as a framework. A mindset that helps you create software, web pages and applications that work for everyone.

Infusing accessibility patterns and best practices into your project will get you to higher-quality products faster. It’s the framework that comes with the Web.