Effectively including accessibility into web developer training – Karl Groves

…Today, I’d like to follow “Your computer school sucks” with some actual guidance for web developer training schools and bootcamps.

Do not treat accessibility as its own topic

A few years ago, I wrote a series of blog posts under the theme Selling Accessibility. The content for many of those posts was driven by interviews I did with a number of people in the accessibility field, one of whom was Cher Travis-Ellis from CSU Fresno. Higher Education has some unique challenges when it comes to online accessibility, especially when it comes to the amount of content being created and the large numbers of non-technical people who create that content. During our discussions, Cher shared with me a neat trick she used when training CSU Fresno staff on accessible content creation: add the accessibility training to all the other training. Unless there’s a really specific technique that deals only with accessibility, nobody really needs to know that you’re teaching them how to make something accessible. For instance, if you’re teaching someone how to use MS Word and you talk about using actual headings instead of bolded text, the accessibility aspect of that practice doesn’t really matter. In other words, you’re teaching people how to do a good job, anyway. The same thing goes for web development. Many accessibility best practices are also just quality best practices. Teach people how to do a good job and, when it comes to techniques that are specific to accessibility, that should be in the core curriculum too.

Discuss the role of “markup” in Hypertext markup language

Discuss the Document Object Model, including Object-Oriented Principles like Abstraction, Inheritance, and Encapsulation

Discuss user input devices

Discuss quality

Discuss basic user expectations, including predictability of the interface

Expect More

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