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If you’re going to do a job, do it properly

Posted in Accessibility

Making your work accessible to all is doing the job properly.

All too often I hear the phrase “forward fix” used when referring to accessibility. It sounds fancy, but what it really means is “We’ll come back to the accessibility bit later”.

The problem here is that:

  • later could take months or even years to come around
  • it sets a dangerous cultural precedent
  • the feature may need fundamental rework, not just just an addition of a few lines of code to add accessibility

Imagine a world where websites and applications were built buy keyboard users for keyboard users. Since the designers and developers don’t use a mouse, they do what Manuel Matzo did in his tongue-in-cheek article Building the most inaccessible site possible with a perfect Lighthouse score and use CSS to hide the mouse cursor with:

cursor: none;

They also stop accidental mouse clicks with:

body {
pointer-events: none;

Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it… That’s what we do when we defer accessibility as a forward fix.

Designing and building without considering accessibility is a job part-done and, by that reasoning, there are way too many half made websites and apps out there.

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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. WWDC 2024 roundup

    I got al the features I wanted from this year’s WWDC, Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference; as ever, there were also a few surprises!

  2. How to browse the web with the keyboard alone

    Some people use the keyboard to get around their computer. Knowing how to do this is important for accessibility testing and to inform design.