20 Apr 2021

Stay on top of the world of accessibility

Stay on top of the world of accessibility

Keeping up with new legislation and changes to accessibility law and guidelines can feel like an impossible task. As focusgov’s accessibility champion I regularly research and delve deep in to the information archives to ensure I don’t miss a trick.

What about those of you with a casual interest who don’t want to get too overwhelmed by all that is available online to inform us of the importance of digital accessibility and how it should be implemented?

Perhaps you have a professional interest but you are in an industry that isn’t quite as dedicated to accessibility for one reason or another and therefore are not granted the time to familiarise yourself enough to become an expert in the field.

If that sounds like you then a strong starting point is to sign up to digital newsletters issued by trusted professional organisations who really know their stuff when it comes to accessibility.

This way if you’ve taken your eye off the accessibility ball you get a nudge to remind you to focus. It may come as a welcome interruption and act as a productive break from whatever you were working on when the email pings. It’s a great way of digesting a lot of complex information in bitesize chunks. I recommend creating a dedicated folder in your emails where you can store any that are particularly useful for reference later. There are plenty out there worth signing up to but to give you a head start I have compiled a list of a few you may find useful…

Government Digital Service (GDS) Blog

This is the organisation who will be testing public sector bodies apps to ensure they adhere to strict accessibility regulations and guidelines by the June 2021 deadline. If these apps do not comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) then legal action can be taken. So what they have to say in their blogs is highly likely to be worth paying attention to.

The WebAIM Newsletter

Monthly news and updates on web accessibility issues. The newsletter will include featured articles, monthly tips, resources, and questions from WebAIM's discussion forum. The featured articles will be from WebAIM staff as well as other key figures in the web accessibility circles.

 Bureau of Internet Accessibility

The Bureau of Internet Accessibility (BoIA) has been helping eliminate the digital divide since 2001. You can stay current on digital accessibility news by subscribing to their weekly blog. 

You could also allocate some time to browsing online for helpful information. Again, this can be very time consuming and it’s easy to get sucked in to a big black hole and before you know it you’re watching videos demonstrating the most efficient way to fold T-shirts (or is that just me?).

So I found a few sites, some are independent bloggers that serve as a good starting point…

3Play Media who offer a captioning solution to make video accessible.

Accessibility services are a UK charitable enterprise who provide guidance and support in digital accessibility, accessible documents, transcripts and more.

Martin Mengele, a web developer who works as a frontend developer and consultant for accessibility has a blog that is ideal for those of you interested in the more technical side of things.

Carie Fisher, an author, speaker, and developer who is passionate about the intersection of front-end code and UX, digital accessibility, diversity, and ethics in technology. She adheres to WCAG 2.1 AA guidelines and uses keyboard, mouse, touch, and screen reader tests on her website.

Please feel free to comment with any further suggestions, the internet’s a big ‘place’ so it’s great to help each other out with some signposts now and then so nobody gets lost. Thanks for reading and I hope it proves useful!

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