Making the web accessible for people with disabilities has always felt like the least accessible part of web development to me. Whenever I tried to start reading the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), I felt overwhelmed and stopped reading after a few paragraphs.
I am a developer. Not a lawyer. My curiosity is triggered by interesting problems to solve. Not by guidelines to comply to. Guidelines help organizations stay accountable to a minimum standard. However, getting developers like me to truly understand accessibility, requires a different approach.
A little while ago, I discovered a YouTube video by UsableNet. It demonstrates how a blind person navigates the web. They both demonstrate an accessible and inaccessible website.
Demonstrations like this trigger my curiosity. The video is not about rules to follow. It's about people and the problems they experience.
For instance, I had heard before that headings on a webpage are critical for accessibility. But I never really understood why. The video demonstrates how a blind user first goes trough headings to get a feel for the page.
Watching this video improved my heading use a lot. Really understanding the problems I'm solving, makes accessibility feel accessible.
I would love to learn more from people with disabilities themselves. With actual demonstrations and actual experiences. I believe that demonstrations like the one above will make the web a better place for everyone.
Do you have any questions, feedback, or ideas to share? Feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂.