Like anything else related to consumer technology and services, inclusive design is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay on top of trends and advances.
We’re always educating our clients on inclusive design best practices, so we’ve compiled a list of resources we share for knowledge-transfer purposes. Do you have a favorite resource that you don’t see on this list? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
W3C is the grandfather of them all, literally. The organization is led by the creator of the Internet, Tim Berners-Lee, and develops the international standards for the World Wide Web. The organization’s Web Accessibility Initiative has excellent resources for those looking to make their products truly inclusive, and, of course, it’s the source of the WCAG standards.
Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM)
WebAIM is a treasure trove of educational resources, services, and articles about accessibility best practices. Developers can enroll in accessibility trainings, and you can even sign up for an e-mail discussion list where you and 1,000 other subscribers can stay up to date on the latest inclusive design advancements.
From WebAIM, this free website checker has been helping organizations create more usable websites for years now, and for good reason. It’s simple, efficient, effective, and so easy to use. Just drop your URL into the checker and the tool crawls your webpage, providing a summary of errors and opportunities to create a more accessible product. Running WAVE should be intrinsic to every website design process.
- WebAIM has also created a WAVE Chrome extension and a Firefox add-on that both dynamically checks your webpages.
Microsoft’s Inclusive Design Toolkit
The renowned toolkit makes the case for inclusive design and outlines the key principles of designing for all (recognizing exclusion, learning from diversity, and how inclusive design benefits all users). The Inclusive 101 manual will hone your thought process to better consider accessibility in your content creation, and additional activities will help your organization create a design process that addresses accessibility throughout, rather than at the tail end of a project.
This product provides services that make it worth carving out a bit of your yearly budget to purchase. Not only does the tool offer SEO, analytics, and General Data Protection Regulation compliance capabilities, but it also crawls your site and PDFs and points out accessibility errors. Its accessibility diagnostics uses WCAG as a baseline for finding errant issues and providing solutions for more inclusive content. In 2017, SiteImprove joined the W3C, which means the tool should always help you adhere to the most up-to-date WCAG standards.
Level Access also provides an auditing and testing tool, but what we find most valuable are the organization’s free learning materials. Download an accessibility glossary to disperse to your content creators and browse an array of webinars covering topics ranging from general inclusive design principles to accessibility legality trends in various industries.
You can learn almost anything from Lynda, including inclusive design best practices. If your office already has an organizational Lynda subscription, definitely take advantage of the wealth of accessibility courses and tutorials available on the site.
Dynamically create color palettes that adhere to WCAG Guidelines’ best practices for color contrast. This tool allows you to choose a background color, font type, size, weight, and WCAG standard level and then provides you with text color options that will provide the most accessible experience for your users.
This blog aims to grow “a global community of inclusive design practitioners”, and founder Kat Holmes is off to a great start. The publication takes a long view of inclusive design, focusing on how the industry is evolving – and how it should continue to evolve – to better meet the needs of all users.
@WhitneyQ on Twitter, she’s the author of “A Web for Everyone”, an incredible resource for any designers interested in learning more about creating accessible products (which should be ALL designers). Her timeline is full of valuable insights about inclusive design’s role in the evolving UX industry.
Assistive Technology Blog
Yes, the namesake implies a blog, but we’re talking specifically about the organization’s Instagram account, which uses visuals to highlight leaps in assistive technology and inclusive design. Following this account means you’ll see a wide range of evolving accessible products paired with enlightening captions.
A11ycasts with Rob Dodson
Produced by Google Chrome Developers, this series emphasizes education for web developers looking to make their apps accessible for all users. In videos ranging from 6 - 15 minutes, Dodson covers topics such as accessible modal dialogues, color contrast, screen readers, and more.
Another Microsoft resource, this series highlights accessibility news at the company and provides a variety of educational resources. Users can watch accessibility tutorials and browse help videos related to common problems that are specific to inclusive design tasks.
The Interactive Accessibility Podcast
Available on iTunes and through the Interactive Accessibility website, this podcast covers accessible technology and also expands beyond the digital realm to talk about events and culture around accessibility. Host Mark Miller tackles current advancements, trends and topics in inclusive design and also frequently brings in experts for interviews.
Web Axe Podcast
Not only is the Web Axe website a wealth of information about inclusive design, but with more than a hundred podcast episodes, you’ll have plenty to listen to and learn about on your commute to the office.