Accessibility: what you need to know as a designer

the word accessibility with the first and last letter of the word in dark green and the letters in between in pale green and numbered. There are 11 letters between the initial 'a' and the last 'y', that's why we say a11y

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On Wednesday 1st September we had a special event on accessibility.

We didn’t cover things like WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), because it’s not the most engaging way to talk about accessibility.  WCAG is about compliance, and compliance is important but not enough. Instead we tried to give a few things to think about which hopefully made sense and will be easy to apply in a lot of situations.


We talked about

  • What is accessibility?
  • Permanent, temporary, situational
  • Terminology can be confusing
  • Assistive technologies
  • Colours
  • Images and other media
  • General recommendations
  • Accessible content
  • The ‘wow’ factor
  • Testing and fixing your website
  • Where to learn more

Accessing the slides of the event

We are sharing the slides we used. Feel free to use them, copy, change, make your own presentation, spread the knowledge and tell us if something is not right or not clear so we can improve! The slides are in view and comment mode so you can add comments if you want.

Two videos if you prefer to the slides

We didn’t record the event on the day, but we have 2 videos done after the event if you prefer this to looking at slides.

Neil did a live demo of various testing tools and simulations tools, so no video for that part.

You can also access a full transcript of Lizzie’s video in her blog post.

Links to Resources

We have a lot to share! a lot of them are in the slides, but we also added some of the links shared in the slides on the evening.



Assistives technologies


Images and medias

Accessible content

The ‘wow’ factor

On the day, we explained that sometimes, designers want people to say “Wow! this is very different from other websites”. So they add different ways to navigate and add motion, but by doing so, they exclude a lot of  people. The website Castor and Pollux is also a great example of  a website which scores 100% for accessibility with an automatic checker, but which is in fact not accessible.

On Motion

Tools for testing

Resources on testing

Where to learn more

For coders

The event was for designers, but we had some questions for coders, so here are a few things:

Mobile guidelines

Testing your website – your code

Material created for Code Your Future

Stéphanie volunteers for Code Your Future and created some material for them. Feel free to copy, re-used.