Notes from the A11y (Accessibility ) Scotland conference

Orde Saunders' avatarPublished: by Orde Saunders

#a11y is designing for difference: even as an individual you have different needs in different situations.

Disability is a mismatch in the interaction between the features of a person's body and the features of their environment.

Think of #a11y as an opportunity rather than a cost. People want to do the right thing - enable them.

Small improvements in #a11y can make big differences to users, it's one of the most effective places you can invest your effort.

#a11y isn't only about your product - if you want to attract and retain the best diverse talent then you need everything you do internally to be accessible as well.

Users of assistive technology typically know what they need, if they ask for something then help them to get it - don't make them justify why they need it.

#a11y is foundational, it's easy to build on top of it.

Make #a11y a contractual requirement: if anyone has a problem with this then it's a good sign that you don't want to be working with them.

Why do so few of your colleagues have disabilities? What is it about your working environment that makes things difficult for people with disabilities?

WCAG guidelines provide technical solutions to user problems, they're not a blueprint for #a11y: you have to understand the user problems.

Within organisations #a11y needs to be both top down and bottom up. Individuals at all levels need to make it an integral part of what they do so it can't be "cut out" due to delivery pressure.

The Equality Act 2010 carries a lot of weight, it does a lot of work for us and we don't know what's going to happen to it after Brexit.

Web #a11y is held to be part of the Equality Act 2010, it is implied that web accessibility is non-discrimination in the provision of a service.

The audience for self service products is anyone, anywhere, anytime. Websites are self service products so they should be accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Don't rely solely on touch: the current generation of touch screens don't work well with upper limb prosthetics and there is no tactile feedback.

Many users of assistive technologies are power users, with proper HTML semantics they can browse the web very fast.