Inclusive Design: an Introduction to Accessibility Whys and Hows


Inclusive design for digital content is emerging as a recent legal requirement, while at the same time maturing as good business strategy. In this session we will try to answer some questions regarding the process of making your content design inclusive for all:

  • What are the benefits from including accessible content?

  • Which accessibility related legal requirements should be kept in mind?

  • Why you should “bake in” accessibility as early as possible into your design workflow?

  • How to avoid drowsiness while reading accessibility guidelines and standards?


Benefits - Inclusive Design benefits all users!

  • Making available a high contrast version of your content will benefit the users with low vision AND all those who need to read it in highly illuminated settings

  • Offering timed captions and transcripts for your video content will benefit auditory challenged audience AND improve its comprehension, make it searchable and referenceable for everybody

  • Providing an audio version of your content (either natively or by ensuring it is accessible to screen readers) will benefit your blind users AND all those who choose/prefer to listen instead of reading

  • Maintaining consistent terminology, structure and navigation, and making the content easily readable through the use of plain language will reduce cognitive load for all the audiences AND lower your localization costs


Risks (business and legal) of non-compliance to accessibility requirements

  • Outline of latest legal frameworks: European Standard EN 301 549 (2014), US Section 508 and Japanese JIS X 8341-3 (both scheduled for refresh in 2015), etc.

  • Accessibility mishaps make headlines - notorious lawsuits: Netflix, Google Books, 21st Century & Video Accessibility Act, Harvard & MIT MOOCs


Strategy & Best Practices

  • Prepare business case for inclusive content to maximize acceptance and support in the organization

  • Determine goals, roles and policies as BROADLY as possible (aiming at the organization as a whole)

  • Evaluate your authoring tools from A11y point of view; consider the output(s) of your content (web, mobile, PDF…) and choose the resources and assets accordingly

  • Involve the users into planning and testing!

  • Make the best use of Drupal A11y resources  (Accessibility project & modules)  

  • Fully integrate A11y into your project lifecycle, and ensure its maintainability though QA process and testing


This session is an updated version of a talk originally presented at Write The Docs 2015 conference in Prague.

Session Track

Front end

Experience Level


Drupal Version

When & Where

Wednesday, 23 September, 2015 - 14:15 to 15:15
112: Exove