The subject matter of this document deals primarily with the websites that function inside browsers. Although I'm sure there is a lot of bleed-over to other types of applications, specific coding techniques would likely provide unique challenges.

What does it mean to be "Accessible"?

Learning a new tool or framework is one thing, but rethinking who you are creating things for is quite another. It means accepting that you might have failed people in the past, and that’s equally challenging. —Heydon Pickering

From a historical perspective, the web is already accessible. All HTML specifications and most browsers have no issues with accessibility. It is only through our enhancements of functionality and design that we break the accessibility of the websites we build.

When a website isn't accessible, it is discrimination—we are leaving certain people out. An accessible website should provide the ability for all users to...

<aside> 💡 When we talk about UX, accessibility is included. If a website isn't accessible, it isn't usable.


Software is for people. Everyone should be able to use your website. But different users have different needs and abilities.

Access - A Short Film About Accessibility

Many an inclusive design conundrum stems from the tension between logical document structure, compelling visual layout, and intuitive interaction. Where we dispense with any one of these, someone somewhere will have a diminished experience. Compromise is inevitable, but it should be an equitable sort of compromise. —Heydon Pickering

Legal implications

The W3C, as an independent entity, has created standards by which we can measure our websites. They publish the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

WCAG is not legally binding but is instead a set of guidelines, best practices, and principles for an accessible web. The goal is to make sure websites are useable regardless of hardware, software, infrastructure, language, location, or ability. This has implications on how we design, write for, and code our websites.

Even though it is not legally binding, there is a precedent that a WCAG compliant site will meet the requirements imposed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA itself does not specify any requirements of digital systems, but has been used in court to claim damages from inaccessible public-facing websites in the U.S. A WCAG compliant site should meet most international requirements as well.

You can view more details on legal implications in the U.S. at the following site:

United States