Introduction

Why Focus on Semantic Structure and Navigation?

The purpose of this module is somewhat different from the other modules in this series. Rather than present a list of accessibility rules, we'll push the boundaries a little and engage in a few thought experiments.

The goal isn't just to comply with guidelines or laws, but to try to create a compelling, enjoyable, and useful experience for people with disabilities.

Summary

Let accessibility drive innovation, not just from a compliance standpoint, but from the standpoint of meeting client needs and giving them an enjoyable experience.

Take an "accessibility first" approach to generate inclusive ideas early on in the design cycle. If you leave accessibility until later in the process, fixing the accessibility problems may not be as easy as adding in a few attributes here and there in the markup. You may have to fundamentally redesign certain components from the ground up, essentially forcing you to start over. That's a waste of time that could have been avoided with an "accessibility first" mindset.

Three areas in particular to consider:

  1. Avoid exclusive design patterns — realize that many times it is the designs that cause unnecessary limitations for people with disabilities.
  2. Embrace diversity — understand that there are many use cases, preferences, abilities, and disabilities to take into account.
  3. Create inclusive designs — keep in mind that when you focus on the edge cases, you'll create solutions that accommodate a wide range of users, with and without disabilities.

Keeping these things in mind will help you go beyond the guidelines to create a usable, even delightful, experience for people with disabilities.

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Deque University

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Accessibility and Inclusive Design

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Inclusive design defined:

A design methodology that enables and draws on the full range of human diversity.

Accessibility defined:

  1. The qualities that make an experience open to all.
  2. A professional discipline aimed at achieving No. 1.

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Avoid Exclusive Design Patterns

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Embrace Diversity

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Create Inclusive Designs

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Rethinking "Affordances"

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The Challenge of User Generated Content

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Web Design Considerations, By Disability Type

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Basic Web Accessibility Checklist for Designers

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