Building the accessible web

As a web developer for a relatively large company that provide basic societal services with a wide ranged target group, accessibility has always interested me. I’ve been to a few workshops regarding web accessibility and I try to, at least to a lesser degree, make our web sites accessible to visitors using various types of accessibility tools like screen readers and so on.

Creating accessible web sites isn’t that hard as long as they are static. But the web isn’t static any more! As the web technology evolves we tend to make more dynamic web sites that are becoming more and more state full than the old and boring state less web. We do this with the help of JavaScript and AJAX to update a part or section of the page if the user clicks this or that button or what ever. And this makes it way harder to create accessible web sites for visitors not using a mouse to navigate or who can’t see the actual page.

But as the “regular” web technology evolves with HTML5 and such, so does the accessibility part of the web as well. I just stumbled upon this great talk from Google IO 2011, and I think this is something that every web developer who likes to call her or him self a web developer should see. At least I know what I will do the next couple of weeks! With some really small efforts we can make the web much more accessible for people with various impairities.

And I encourage every web developer to follow the Google Developer Channel at Youtube. There’s a lot of good stuff there!