Understanding Accessibility

Moving into the practicalities of accessibility in practice, recognize that there is a large body of great content on the subject already. Rather than reinventing the wheel, this book provides descriptive points to relevant supplemental readings.


The following articles provide a good introduction to accessible design and disabilities.

Accessibility – Wikipedia
The Wikipedia resource gives a clear definition of what accessibility is. Beginning from legislations to the latest developments on web accessibility, it has a comprehensive list of the various fields and areas in which accessibility has been improved over the years.

Accessibility – World Wide Web Consortium
With a main focus on web, this document details the what, why, and how of web accessibility. It also provides examples different use cases of web accessibility tools. These examples simplify the understanding of how to make a website and web tools accessible.

Web Accessibility Initiative
The WAI makes a case for standardizing web accessibility through betterment of naming and pronunciation. It also details on developing an accessibility statement for a website and the business case behind being accessible. 

Understanding barriers to accessibility
This resource lists out all the visible and invisible barriers that plague the world of a disabled person. It focuses mainly on those accessibility barriers that are usually neglected or taken for granted.

An Alphabet of Accessibility Issues
A blog post creating awareness on the different kinds of web accessibility issues people face on a daily basis. It brings to the foreground the need to put more thought into designing web interfaces that is inclusive of everyone.

Types of Disabilities – Johns Hopkins University
The John Hopkins University student affairs resource places emphasis on physical and mental disabilities that challenge students. It also lists out characteristics of the disabilities and the required instructional strategies to accommodate all students.

Disability and Health – CDC
The CDC website’s Disability and Health section is a pool of resources. It has help topics for the disabled and strategies for disability inclusion.

Types of disabilities – House with No Steps
House With No Steps gives an in-depth understanding of the different types of mental illness, physical, intellectual, and sensory disabilities. It also cross-links to more information on branches relating to these topics to give well-rounded information.

Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design – Online Version
This is the online version of the book Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design. In this book, Shawn Henry takes a look at the basics of incorporating accessible designing and details the user-centered design (UCD) process in each phase of accessible designing.


Here is a collection of informative conversations about many aspects of accessibility. 

Web Accessibility Podcasts Roundup

A collection of links to accessibility-specific podcasts and podcast episodes about accessibility.

Digital Accessibility Videocast

This is a series of conversations with accessibility professionals who have been making a difference with digital products and services. 


The following videos provide practical and aspirational thoughts about the importance of accessible design.

A Practical Appraisal – Blink for NASA
This is a video produced by Blink in support of the work at NASA/JPL. It was used to help create awareness within the organization about attention to accessible design.


Accessibility for the Win: Orchestrating Organizational Buy-In, Shawn Henry


What We Can Learn from Digital Outcasts, Kel Smith


Content for Everyone, Whitney Quesenbury