Building accessible software

Meeting accessibility standards is important in all software development efforts. Building accessible software requires teams to consider the abilities of all people that use a digital product. Access extends to considerations for physical, mental, sensory, and cognitive factors in how software is designed and built.

Creating accessible and inclusive software

Digital products that work for everyone is not only important, it is also the right thing for every software delivery effort to focus on. It means considering multiple factors, baking considerations into the product, and validating those affordances along the way. It extends the product’s reach and drives best practices in development.

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Accessibility means providing access across abilities.

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Usability considerations include all abilities.

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Inclusive design makes products available to all people.

Accessibility means great usability

It is easy for teams to fall into the trap of approaching WCAG standards and compliance as a checklist. Instead, accessibility must be taken on as a core usability consideration for it to be truly successful. This approach impacts the design of the product, the structure of the code, and how the product performs across various devices and platforms.

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Approach accessibility as a mindset.

Successful products integrate accessibility into their design process, their story writing approach, their testing strategy, and their development principles. It is not something that can or should be papered over an application. Instead, it should be integral to the way it is constructed.

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Accessible software offers more than readability.

There are many ability considerations, such as screen readers, contrast levels, device fidelity, cognitive ability, connectivity, and more. By having a set standard, and a strong validation and testing approach behind it, teams can be confident in the accessibility of their products.

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Engage your audience.

Applications that simply treat accessibility as a checklist fall short. Teams that seek to build truly accessible products must involve multiple user groups in their testing cycles and validation efforts—as with any aspect of software delivery, engaging the people who will use it is key to successful development.

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