Skip to main content

Stay Selfish, Stay Accessible

    A lot of you would have heard of Web Accessibility, Section 508, a11y, Aria and more of this jargon at your workplace and especially if you are on the UI/UX team in your organization. It might have sounded confusing, a burden and just unnecessary to implement. There would also be a huge number of organizations and developers who are completely unaware of this concept of web accessibility, and so in this article today, we will take a look at what web accessibility is, why it needs to be implemented and what it means for you.

Web Accessibility refers to the process of making the web accessible to people with different disabilities, thereby removing the barriers that prevent their interaction with or access to websites.

    Just bring up the topic of implementing web accessibility on your project and some of the immediate challenges/ questions that you will get apart from the "There are more pressing issues at hand! Focus on that!" looks are listed below!

  1. Will it impact business? (Hidden meaning - How many disabled people would actually be using our website?)
  2. How much would it cost? (Hidden meaning - Is it really worth the effort to implement web accessibility? We already have a huge backlog of features to be implemented!)
  3. And finally... Why should I as a developer or an organization do it at all?
    We will look at some statistics and data that will give us an answer to all of the above questions, but most importantly, I will try to answer, “Why should we implement web accessibility?

    You will find a whole range of different disabilities that inhibit people from accessing the web and these were considered by the WCAG when they laid out the standards for implementing web accessibility, and we should definitely make the web accessible for these differently abled users of our website. In the US alone - whose population is approximately 4.4% of the total world population,
  • 10.4% of the web users aged between 21-64 years
  • 25% aged between 65-74 years
  • 50% aged 75+ years
suffer from visual, hearing, mobility or cognitive disabilities.

    These statistics display the magnitude of users that can be targeted, but the numbers don't matter, until I provide some practical examples. So, let’s keep all of these stats and data aside for a minute, and think about you and me - supposedly the better-abled individuals, whose lives are driven by technology. We use the web, all throughout our day to socialize, navigate to different places and more importantly browse information.

Most of us wear far-sight corrective spectacles/ lenses throughout the day. Try reading the following line without your glasses on.

This small font size makes it extremely difficult to read the text.

You would have found it extremely difficult to read that text and some would not have been able to read it as well. This is because you just have a minor vision disability. Can you think of someone who just had a surgery in one eye and was complaining about not being able to browse your website with ease? Think about the frustration you would feel if you had to just read through a website that has such small text without your glasses on!

    Imagine a situation that you are in an accident and have fractured your mouse hand. How difficult would it become for you to use the mouse to navigate through a website. Leave alone navigate, you would not even be able to hold the mouse. Another situation would be, when you get partial deafness because of some bacterial infection. You would be able to view your favorite videos on Youtube but not be able to listen to what is going on. Imagine the amount of frustration you would go through.

    All these cases are of temporary, partial disabilities and these affect you and me – the currently abled users of the web. Think about the older you, when you have reached your late 60s and 70s, when you might suffer from multiple disabilities relating to your motor skills, hearing impairment and vision impairment among several others.

    Disabilities are not the only reason why web accessibility should be implemented. Think of a situation when you are eating your lunch at your desk and start navigating a website using the keyboard alone. This is a situational disability or impairment and you would be frustrated if you could not navigate through the website using just your keyboard.

    This is the main reason why you should implement and support web accessibility in your organization and on your projects. Supporting web accessibility now helps the injured you, the encumbered you and also the future older you. Investing in and implementing accessibility is not just for the disabled. It is for you and me; it’s for our future. Be selfish! Do it for yourself and noone else! Stay Selfish, Stay Accessible!

    This article is inspired by a talk given by Adrian Roselli (@aardrian) – a proponent of the theory of “Selfish Accessibility”.

Recommended for You

ES6 101 - Spread operator

ES6 101 - Spread Operator
Welcome to the fourth post in the ES6 101 series and the topic of discussion today is the Spread operator or the dot dot dot operator.... It is not very common to call it the “dot dot dot” operator, but I just kind of like the ring to it! Also when you say “dot dot dot” it actually helps me visualize unpacking multiple gifts from a gift box. Wondering why I am taking about gifts and gift boxes and “dot dot dot”. Well, the spread operator... is actually more like unwrapping gifts from a gift box. The spread syntax allows an iterable such as an array expression to be expanded in-place. Let’s actually dive into some examples straight away. It is much more simpler that way!Examples of the ES6 Spread Operator ...Example #1Problem statement: Let’s write a function to display the sum of 3 numbers passed to it in an array.

We would have done this as follows in the old ES5 way. 😏var arr = [1,2,3]; functionsum(a,b,c) { var output = a + b + c; consol…

Diwali Wishes

Happy Diwali 2017
We are already on the brink of the new year and the festival of lights is already here!May this festival of lights, bring joy, peace and prosperity to you and your loved ones! Wishing you a very happy Diwali and a prosperous new year!For your holiday family portraits and baby shoots I would recommend a really talented and professional photographer in the SF Bay Area. Her portfolio would speak for itself!Happy holidays and have a safe Diwali!

ES6 101 - Lexical Declarations - Const

ES6 101 - Lexical Declarations - Const

This is the third post in the ES6 101 Series and we will be looking at the ES6 lexical declartions keyword const. This is more of a continuation of the post on let, so I would highly recommend you to read that before you move forward. In case you feel like looking at const that too works! Go ahead and keep reading.As we saw in the post yesterday, variables created with the let keyword have limited scope and they live within the block, statement or the expression that they have been declared in. You cannot redeclare the let variables but these variables are mutable, i.e. theirs values can be changed and updated.As the name suggests, const helps you create variables that have a constant value! These variables are not mutable, which means, the value of these variables cannot be changed or updated. Let’s look at a few examples to understand this better.Examples using ES6 constconst pi = 3.14; console.log(pi); pi = ++pi; // Uncaught TypeEr…

ES6 Fat Arrow Functions

ES6 101 - Fat Arrow Functions

I attended a 2 day ReactJs 101 Training last week. Yes! towards the end of 2017 - React 101. That story is for another blog post, but I am happy I took this training. It opened my eyes to a lot of things that I have not been working on and made me realize that I was really falling behind the Javascript scene.

The main thing that I realized I was lacking was ES6. I know a couple of things, but am not using it on a regular basis. One statement by the trainer, especially hit me hard.

"ES6 has been around for over 2 years now (with babel). There is no reason for you to not use it! If you are not using it today, you are definitely missing the boat!"

So have now decided to start learning something everyday and post it. Share my learnings with the world and get some feedback, if anyone is willing to share some.

I am going to start with the Arrow Functions or as they are very commonly referred to as Fat Arrow Functions. Whenever someone refers to a Fat A…

ES6 101 - Lexical Declarations Let

ES6 Lexical Declarations - Let
This is the second post in the ES6 series and we will be covering a lexical declaration - ‘Let’ today. Before this we have looked into the ES6 Fat Arrow Functions. We looked at the syntax changes from ES5 to ES6, how return is implicit and how this works with the new Arrow syntax.Let’s now look at what let is. Simply put, let is the new var. Then what is the difference you ask! well, let’s look at right now. Whenever you see let in your code base, you should now consider the following thing.The scope of the variable declared with the let keyword is limited to the block, statement or expression that it is being used in. This differs from the var keyword, which defines variables globally or local to a function regardless of block scope.Let’s take a look at a few examples to see how var and let differ from each other.Examples using ES6 letlet does not attach anything to window 😍var a = 10; let b = 20; console.log(window.a); // 10console.log(window.b…