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Accessibility Guide

Tools and practices for making products and services accessible to everyone.

Introduction

Accessibility is one of the most important aspects of modern web development. Accessibility means the greatest number of users can view your content. It means search engines will be able to read your site more completely. Users of all types will have a better experience if you take accessibility concerns into account. And least of all, it's required by law for all federal EIT (electronic information technology) products to be accessible (with a few minor exceptions).

Accessibility works best when incorporated into an agile production environment. It's very hard to adequately address accessibility concerns at the end of a project, but if taken into account at the beginning, it's quite straightforward and cost effective. The best and perhaps only way to ensure this is done is training and education. Every member of a production team should be aware of what accessibility concerns are and have a basic understanding of how they're addressed.

Here at Skylight we follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 as our standard for accessibility. We do so for a couple reasons. WCAG has long been the gold standard for accessibility on the web. It also incorporates Section 508 standards. Under 1194.5 of the Section 508 standards, we can use a different set of standards as long as they meet the current Section 508 standards.

Disclaimer

This resource is intended to help Skylight develop accessible products and isn't a replacement for the standards defined by the U.S. Access Board. Please visit the Access Board for information on 508 and their compliance criteria.

This toolkit is a fork of 18F's accessibility guide originally created by Skylight's Nick Bristow.

Resources

Standalone testing tools

Browser-based testing tools

Government sites and tutorials

World Wide Web Consortium's web accessibility initiative

Misc. sites and tutorials