Oliver Roick

Accessibility for Everyone

Laura Kalbag's primer on web accessibility provides a starting point to build more accessible web sites.

Inaccessible websites exclude people from crucial government services or from making business with you. Accessibility is a critical aspect of every software project. Not only is building accessible services morally just; it also is a legal obligation.

How do you make a website accessible? What impairments do you need to consider, and how they affect how people interact with a website? How do you incorporate an accessibility mindset into teams and projects? Why should you care? Accessibility for Everyone, Laura Kalbag’s concise primer on web accessibility, answers these and other questions. The book provides a wealth of material on how to make the experience better for everyone. It highlights the importance of plain language and how to design accessible experiences using the right colours and typography. You’ll learn about how well-structured semantic markup and consistently labelled forms enable efficient keyboard navigation and better support for screenreader users.

Accessibility for Everyone is no different than other A Book Apart publications; it provides a brief overview of the topic. This book is for you if you’re just getting started and you want to learn how to build a static accessible website. The executive who needs to understand why their engineering manager wants to invest in additional training for the team and an external audit of their product will find this book useful, too. Seasoned designers and developers who already have a working knowledge of accessibility-enhancing patterns and approaches and want to dive deeper into technical aspects of highly interactive, accessible web applications using WAI-ARIA will be disappointed. Kalbag covers aspects of WAI-ARIA, but you won’t learn how to — as an example — build interactive forms or modals (if you must) that work in screen readers.

Nevertheless, Accessibility for Everyone is a worthwhile read. It’s a great primer; even experienced folk will learn a thing or two. It’s a book to keep around on the shelf for reference to remember what it means to build a website truly for everyone.

Book details

Accessibility for Everyone by Laura Kalbag was published in 2017 by A Book Apart; ISBN 1937557618.