AccessAbility: A Practical Handbook of Accessible Web Design

Association of Registered Graphic Designers (2016)

This resource was produced by the Association of Registered Graphic Designers, with support from the Government of Ontario, in Ontario, Canada, to help developers to design accessible websites. The handbook outlines four principles of accessible web design, which indicate that websites must be:

  • Perceivable. Web-based content must be presented in ways that all users can perceive. This principle considers colour, size, typeface and sound.
  • Operable. All users must be able to simply and accurately manipulate buttons, links, labels, images, and so on, from the perspective of control.
  • Understandable. Content and interfaces must be clear so that people with cognitive disabilities or cultural and language differences can access the website.
  • Robust. Websites that are robust can be interpreted by a variety of browsers, devices and assistive technologies.

The handbook provides tools such as a checklist to help designers create a website that is accessible for users with different disabilities, including low vision and hearing loss. The handbook also provides guidance on how to test the accessibility of the various components of websites, including style sheets, image maps, online forms and scripting. It then sets out steps designers can take to ensure the website accessibility through regular maintenance.

The handbook has a planning and management section to help designers educate their clients about the importance of having an accessible website and manage the client relationship to phase in accessibility components to their website. The handbook also includes excellent case studies, a list of additional resources, and a glossary of terms.

The handbook is available here.