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Bag some AAA wins where you can

Posted in Accessibility

Accessibility isn’t just about achieving and maintaining compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA; there are lots of things that aren’t covered by WCAG that are worth doing. There are also lots of hugely beneficial AAA success criteria (rules) that are relatively easy to meet.

You probably satisfy some already

The good news is that, if you’ve met AA, you probably already satisfy a handful of AAA rules:

Easy to build into your workflow

Now for some easy ones:

  • It’s rare to find images of text outside of blogs, so if you’ve been careful to avoid them in your blog’s hero images, you’ve met 1.4.9 Images of Text (No Exception)
  • Explaining an abbreviation the first time you use it on each page is an easy way to achieve 3.1.4 Abbreviations
  • Like abbreviations, if jargon is necessary, it should be explained the first time it appears on a page; do that and 3.1.3 Unusual Words has been satisfied

Harder, but worth the effort

Some success criteria need a bit more effort to integrate but are very much worth the effort:

  • Nice big buttons, links, and other touch targets (at least 44px by 44px) will mean you’re on course to hit 2.5.5 Target Size
  • If your content can be understood by people with a ‘lower secondary education level’ (usually around 11 years old), you’re in good shape to meet 3.1.5 Reading Level
  • Ensuring every content change on the page is triggered by an explicit button press (not simply by changing the value of a select dropdown, for example) will mean you meet 3.2.5 Change on Request

Meeting some with ‘modes’

Using CSS’s User Preference Media Features, we can provide styling specific to when users have set certain operating system preferences:

Full AAA compliance might be out of reach for most projects, but bagging as many AAA success criteria as possible can be pretty straightforward, and is definitely where we should be aiming.

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I send an accessibility-centric newsletter on the last day of every month, containing:

  • A roundup of the articles I’ve posted
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More posts

Here are a couple more posts for you to enjoy. If that’s not enough, have a look at the full list.

  1. Accessibility doesn’t stop at WCAG compliance

    While it’s true that WCAG represents a solid baseline, there’s a lot more we should be doing to make our work truly accessible.

  2. WCAG AAA in language I can understand

    A follow-up to my post on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1, level AA; this time covering the rules that make up the stricter level AAA.