When I give presentations on accessibility, I often get one or two questions I’ve fielded before. I’ve collected a handful for an ongoing series of posts with my answers. I hope it helps you understand accessibility better.
If I could do a few basic things in my projects right now, what should they be?
Start simple. Focus on ensuring users can navigate your site using the keyboard. Make sure you have
:focus styles where appropriate, and that each style has a reasonable contrast.
Further reading: Building a Strong Foundation with Keyboard Accessibility.
Next, make sure each control follows web standards. What do I mean by that? Items that behave like links, buttons and form fields should be just that:
<input>. Don’t make your own interface elements from scratch. Use native elements, which come with accessibility features built in, and enhance from there.
Further reading: Links Are Not Buttons; Neither Are DIVs and SPANs.
Lastly, provide a
<label> element for each form field in your code. Labels allow screen reader users to know what a field is meant to do or what that field needs in order to move on in an interface. Don’t make it harder.