Understanding & Supporting Web Accessibility

Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, websites by people with disabilities.

When your website is accessible, all visitors can engage your content and use your site’s functionality no matter their abilities. Visually-impaired users can visit your website using a screen reader. Those who can't use a mouse can navigate your site using a keyboard or other input device. Most accessibility features will also improve your SEO. When your site is inaccessible, research shows you could be excluding up to 20 percent of your audience.

Here we’ll cover the basics of accessibility, why it's important, and how you can support accessibility in your projects.

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Description

Each of our sessions are digitally broadcast live and feature world-class speakers. Each presentation typically has 30-40 minutes set aside for instruction followed by another 15 minutes or so for Questions & Answers at the end.


About This Session

While websites are designed with the best of intention, there is often too little regard for the large group of visitors who have different capabilities. Rarely is a site built to intentionally exclude someone from accessing products or information. However, without proper planning, education, and testing, you might be doing just that.

Accessibility is likely a topic you’ve heard mentioned by other web developers. It may even be a topic you’ve taken into consideration but don’t really know where to start. The crux of the problem is that you are likely unaware of how big of an issue proper accessibility actually is.

If you aren’t personally impacted by these different circumstances it can be easy to overlook simple things we have come to take for granted. You may not realize how heading structure can impact a screen reader’s ability to navigate and verbalize content in a logical order. If you’re not colorblind, you may have never considered the impact of your color scheme has on someone who is. Even the download speed of your site can create an accessibility barrier for many.

In this presentation you have an opportunity to learn from Rachel Cherry, a web accessibility champion. She will help you to define and understand common accessibility issues, what legal requirements your website might need to meet, ways you can create a more usable website, and how all of this effort creates a more open and inviting web for an entirely new demographic of visitors and customers, and so much more.


What You’ll Learn

  • Introduction to web accessibility
  • Legal requirements of web accessibility
  • Common accessibility issues
  • How proper accessibility improves SEOHow to test your site’s accessibility
  • Easy wins you can implement to improve accessibility without changing theme or plugin code
  • How to test the accessibility of themes and other products before you buy
  • And more!

 


About Rachel Cherry

Rachel Cherry is a Senior Software Engineer for The Walt Disney Company with over ten years experience in back and front-end web development and digital design. Before Disney, she spent over nine years working in higher education and is the founder of WPCampus, a community and conferences focused on using WordPress in the world of higher education.

When she’s not using WordPress to help build the web, she enjoys promoting the importance of accessibility and working to encourage openness, collaboration, and professional development as a conference and meetup organizer. Rachel lives in Pasadena, California but you can find her on Twitter, GitHub, and bamadesigner.com.

Follow Rachel on Twitter

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