Resources

There are loads of resources on digital accessibility and inclusive design! Here are a collection of my favourites – and not to fear, all of which are free! (well, one is donation base)

Alternative (ALT) Text for Images

Assistive Technology

Contrast & Colour Checkers

Design Best Practices

Plugins & Add-ons

  • Accessibility Ribbon for Word: David Berman offers a free/donation-based ribbon for Word (2010+) for PC. The accessibility features of Word are now in a single place, simplifying the workflow for accessible document creation and troubleshooting.
  • NVDA Community Add-ons: There are many great add-ons for NVDA for both users and testers! If you are a designer using NVDA for testing, you may like Focus Highlight, an add-on that visually highlights what the screen reader is reading to help you zone in on potential problems.

Technical Guides

Microsoft Office applications:

Adobe Creative Suite applications:

Web content:

PDF Documents:

Reports and Surveys

Standards:

Writing

Professional Networking & Conferences:

Most of these are free to attend, with the exception of the conferences:

Online – Global:

Global Accessible Awareness Day: In-person and online events by leading experts on a variety of topics.

Inclusive Design 24: 24 hour streaming of live, 1 hour presentations and demos on accessibility. All talks are archived and available to view from 2014 to today.

Note on Online Discussions:

Online discussions take place on constantly Twitter (and other social media platforms too – but currently not as frequently) using the hashtag #a11y, #AXSChat, and #accessibility. Its a great way to stay connected to the community globally, to learn and share together, and ask questions. You can also follow discussions on localized accessibility topics such as #aoda in Ontario. Forums and online groups in your area of interest are also great to follow.

Southern Ontario – Toronto area:

a11yTO Meet-up: largest accessibility and inclusive design professional networking group in the world happens to  be in Toronto! Similar groups exist around the world in different cities (online search: “a11y [and your city’s name]”).

a11yTO Camp: free ‘un-conference’ on digital accessibility held once a year in Toronto– a must-attend event for anyone working in digital accessibility. Similar camps around the world in different cities (online search: “A11Y Camp” [and your city’s name] ).

a11yTOconf: two day, one track accessibility conference in downtown Toronto.

Guelph Accessibility Conference: conference at Guelph University with a wide scope of topics and speakers.

USA:

CSUN: The most important conference on digital accessibility internationally takes place in San Diego annually. If you cannot attend in person, you can soak up the information via Twitter and through other online repositories. 

What does a11y stand for?

a11y stands for accessibility, most commonly used to refer to digital or web accessibility. There are 11 characters in the word ‘accessibility’ with ‘A’ being the first and ‘Y’ the last letter.

 

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