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2021 – My year of A11y?

For me A11y (Accessibility – or ‘A, 11 characters, y’) has been an area that I was first exposed to almost 10 years ago!

I had to make sure a product was WCAG compliant so that we could keep our Government client. I trawled through the WCAG guidelines, found a bunch of issues we had – then I fixed them.

The same problems

Jump forward nearly 10 years and I’m still seeing a number of those same issues cropping up in websites today:

  • Contrast issue
  • Image alt tags
  • Keyboard navigation
  • lack of semantic markup

Fortunately, there has also been a stirring in the A11y activity here at VisitScotland and I’m planning on making the main focus of my goal/s for this year to be to improve my A11y capabilities.

I completed the W3c’s Intro to Web Accessibility course on edX last year and I’m hoping to be able to complete more as the year goes on.

Practicing A11y skills

This is where things get more interesting, for me at least. I’ve also been developing a bit of a taste for understanding how we learn and develop new skills.

One of the key aspects is active practice.

My UX Design role doesn’t give me the tools or the scope to be digging into our code. Luckily, the internet is literally full of examples of sites that could do with some accessibility… assistance.

Over the coming months, I shall be seeking a specific A11y skill set to learn and then finding some sites to be able to put it to practice on.