The Ministry of Testing has declared that May should be “30 Days of Accessibility Testing“. As in the days of yore when I used to take on these challenges and blog regularly, I’m in the mood to get back to doing that. Therefore, I am looking to write a post every day around this topic and as a way to address each line of their checklist.
Still catching up from the weekend, so this is Day 8, but being posted on Day 9. Later today, I should be all caught up :).
8. Read a book about accessibility.
That’s a tall order on any given day, and Accessibility is a big topic, so it’s going to be a challenge to get through a book in one day, but it’s definitely worthwhile and time well spent to get more familiar with the ideas and principles. With that, I have a few suggestions, and I’ve even written book reviews for a few of them.
The first book I strongly encourage everyone to read is “A Web for Everyone: Designing Accessible User Experiences” by Sarah Horton and Whitney Quesenbery. Why do I suggest this one? Lots of reasons, but I really appreciate the depth and level of granularity they used to create personas for testing and relating to issues. This would be a remarkably good book to teach persona based testing as a separate discussion point, but the core of the book is to talk about Accessible user experiences and how to design and test for them. My long-form book review can be read here.
The second book I’d recommend is Katie Cunningham’s “Accessibility Handbook: Making 508 Compliant Websites“. It’s a quick read, but there’s a lot to look at and consider. As I stated in my Bottom line for this title “…coming in at 98 pages total, 80 pages of specific content, but don’t let its size fool you. This book will pay for itself with the first usability issues you find. As you get better, you will be tempted to start creating unique personas for each of the areas, and by all means, do so. The process of seeing how solutions are presented, and how to make changes to those solutions, is well worth the purchase price.” My long-form book review can be read here.
The third book I would recommend comes with a caveat, in that it is now ten years old, but don’t let that prevent you from still learning a great deal in the process. “Design Accessible Web Sites: 36 Keys to Creating Content for All Audiences and Platforms” by Jeremy Sydik. at the core of this book is the Ten Principles of Web Accessibility, and these are the underpinning for the rest of the book. My long form review can be read here.
OK, yeah, that’s great and all, but you’ve already read those. What are you going to do now, today? Good question, and unfortunately, it means this entry will be a little incomplete, but I have started reading “Inclusive Design Patterns: Coding Accessibility Into Web Design” by Heydon Pickering.
Of course, I will not be able to finish the entire book and do a review today, but I hereby commit to revisiting this and making a 31st-day entry so I can review the book properly.