This blog post is a presentation inviting software engineers and technology companies to learn about guidelines from international sources aimed at developing accessible software for people with disabilities.
This specific meaning of accessibility to information technology (IT) has become essential in this decade, and some countries have created laws to make web content universal, like the international Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
As we work in the software industry, it is our responsibility to build applications that the population with impairments can access. Just think how a person that has an absence of a sense, like vision, could interact with the app you are building. Could they perceive its content? How easily could this person navigate through all the components or sections? WCAG presents some recommendations that could be included in our projects to develop more inclusive software.
WCAG is a set of recommendations for improving web accessibility, explaining how to build websites and apps accessible to everyone based on four attributes every design should present. Those four attributes are:
WCAG has three conformance levels that effectively categorize a website or application based on the recommendations.
Note: WCAG does not recommend that Level AAA conformance be required as a general policy for entire sites because it is not possible to satisfy all Level AAA success criteria for some content.
You can find this kind of logo when a Web site meets the conformance level of WCAG; the following are the ones for level A.
The good news is that we can take advantage of multiple tools and sources that we can use to make our software accessible. For example, an HTML validator is helpful to address the parsing recommendation for level A of WCAG. There are multiple HTML validators available on the Web. Personally, I use the Markup Validation Service of the World Wide Web Consortium organization to check the HTML documents.
You can validate your HTML document by providing the URI of the page, uploading the HTML file with the option Validate by File Upload, or putting your HTML code using the Validate by Direct Input tab.
Once you press the Check button, the validator will show you the warnings and errors that are in your HTML document.
Other sources that help to develop accessible software are the following:
“The power of the web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.” – Tim Berners-Lee
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