Accessibility in Practice: A process-driven approach to accessibility

By Sarah Horton and David Sloan

Note: This is the manuscript version of the paper we presented at the 7th Cambridge Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive Technology (CWUAAT ’14). The paper appears in the book Inclusive Designing: Joining Usability, Accessibility, and Inclusion, Copyright © 2014 Springer.

Introduction

Attention to accessibility usually comes into play in the later phases of product development. Accessibility audits are typically performed during quality assurance and user acceptance testing phases. Remediation for any issues identified in the audit usually happens in code. However, the best fix for many complex accessibility issues may be to revisit the overall design approach; yet reworking designs at this late phase has a significant impact on timelines and processes. Any recommendation involving alternative designs is therefore usually unwelcome. Instead, the issues remain unresolved, or are resolved in a fashion that achieves technical accessibility but offers a compromised user experience.

The best approach to accessible user experience is to integrate accessibility into the design and development process. When accessibility is part of the practice of every member of the product development team, and when accessible features and functionality are built into design, content, and code, the result is a product that is accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

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Some stuff that doesn’t work between the DOM and Shadow DOM

Been reading a few new articles on Web Components and accessibility, which lead me to re-read an old post I wrote: Notes on Web Components + ARIA. I noted the demo was broken, presumably as the web component syntax had changed since 2012. So I decided to make a few new tests:
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TPG Sessions and Speakers at CSUN 2014

Here’s a list of the TPG schedule of sessions, themes, and speakers during the 2014 CSUN Conference:

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Screen reader support for ARIA live regions

An ARIA live region is a simple mechanism for notifying screen readers when content is updated on the page. Despite the obvious Accessible User Experience (AUX) benefits that live regions bring, screen reader support is disappointingly inconsistent.

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The TPG Bug Bash

At TPG we test websites, applications and apps for accessibility, with lots of different browsers and Assistive Technologies (AT). It means we get to play with some shiny tech, but it also means we find a lot of browser and AT bugs along the way.

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