I’m writing from Talk UX, the conference on UX aimed at getting new and differing voices heard.
Rebecca Topps and Elizabeth Chesters gave a number of suggestions for accessibility, covering standard considerations for cognitive impairments but also going beyond this to consider thing such as cultural considerations.
Topps has a personal connection to accessibility – her younger sister has learning difficulties and so she took an interest in accessibility.
They pointed out that accessibility isn’t about disability as much as inclusivity: if no one on the internet knows that you’re a dog, it at best can also mean opportunities such as allowing a blind person to work as a translator (a real life example from their work with http://www.maccsuso.org.uk ).
They had two particular bugbears with the current status of accessibility: first, that “ARIA tags are not magical fairy dust that make sites accessible” and that “it is pretty shameful that standard Flat UI patterns often fail accessibility tests”.
At the very least, you can check colour contrast on sites, with free tools such as the CA Colour Analyser (which the graphic designers at my work use).
More generally, they reminded people to think about readability and culture:
Also, following good form and text practices help everyone:
Finally, think about challenging your own assumptions be it through recruiting or testing:
Since then, I also found a well researched and resourced post on taking the social model of disability online.
Topps’ and Chesters’ slides are available online.
Header image NC-by-SA by Talk UX.