Making Your Website/Application Accessible: A Guide for Front-End Developers

As front-end developers, our job is to present visual information that looks good and gives users cues to help them understand content quickly. Even a static, text-only web page is more than a collection of words. The page has a title that appears at the top. The title may be bold or in a large font size. In the body of the text, words are grouped into sentences that end with periods, and related sentences are grouped into paragraphs. Certain words in a sentence may be emphasized with bolding, underlining, or italics. These examples barely scratch the surface of the many, minute details of visual web page design.
These components may seem basic and unimportant, but for many people, accessing and reading text on a web page is difficult. For example, individuals with visual impairments often struggle to read the text. When we think of visual impairment, most of us automatically picture a person who is blind, but there are many other types of visual impairment to consider, including color blindness, low vision, sight problems caused by degenerative disorders, etc. The range of disabilities and handicaps our users may have extends far beyond the visual category to include hearing, cognitive, motor, and other types of issues. Therefore, making sure your website or application is accessible rises to the utmost importance.