Intopia is creating a resource to help people understand what they can do to make their work more accessible and inclusive for everyone.
We’ve called it the Accessibility Not-Checklist. Yes, you did read that right.
When you look at it, it looks like a checklist, and depending on how you use it, it works like an interactive checklist. But to us, it’s not. Because we’re not a fan of treating accessibility like it’s something to be checked off a list. We want to help paint a holistic picture of digital accessibility, and the benefits it can bring.
The Not-Checklist gives a frame of reference to people just starting out in accessibility, who need something tangible to help them start. It’s also designed for people who are familiar with accessibility (and the guidelines) and need a reminder to make sure they’ve got everything covered.
It doesn’t focus exclusively on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) either; we’ve included some of the best advice from globally-recognised sources. It also provides clarity on topics that often have a lot of misinformation or misunderstanding about them.
How do you use the Not-Checklist?
When you first get to the Not-Checklist, take your time to navigate through it. Have a look at what’s there, and then head across to the filters and decide what will be most useful to you.
Of course, you can filter by WCAG versions, levels or success criteria. But going above and beyond WCAG, you can include what we consider ‘best practice’ – to make your work even more accessible.
When you’ve worked out what type of accessibility guidance you’re looking for, you can also further filter by job role. Whether you’re a content creator, designer, or web developer, you’ll be able to get the information that is specific to your role.
There are also topic filters, which lets you keep or get rid of information about specific components or things you might currently be working on.
Is it just the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), or is there more to it?
When it comes to digital accessibility, we start with WCAG, the acknowledged international standard. With the Not-Checklist, you can filter by WCAG version. We’ve currently got versions 2.0 and 2.1 and we’ll add 2.2 once it’s official. You can also filter by WCAG level A or AA. Level AAA is on the way, but you’ll find that we already include some ‘best practice’ recommendations that align with the intent of AAA success criteria. If you aren’t familiar with WCAG, or find it difficult to read through (we’ve all been there), we’ve made it easier to understand what you need to do. We haven’t just copied WCAG though. We’ve used our judgment, and years of experience to not only make WCAG easier to understand but to consider the best user experience.
But it’s not just WCAG either. Our best practice guidance uses references such as work completed by the W3C’s Low Vision and Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Taskforces, as well as other resources like the Readability Guidelines and the Nielsen Norman Group.
What’s so great about the Not-Checklist is that it contextualises these resources for you, so you can understand them better from your own perspective. And because we feel they’re so important, we’ve added topics you don’t often find answers to, like making text and tables more readable, and making the most accessible multimedia content.
The Not-Checklist is in beta, so what else can we expect?
We are incredibly excited to be able to share what we’ve done so far, but there’s still a lot more to come. Because of that, we expect to be in beta for some time. We’ve got many things planned for the Not-Checklist over the coming months, including:
- an in-depth glossary to better explain some of the more confusing terms
- adding more information about topics to give more detail and context to the items currently in the Not-Checklist
- additional functionality to help make the Not-Checklist more customisable (and manageable – we know it’s long!) for people
While we’re in beta, we’re collecting feedback from anyone who visits or uses the Not-Checklist. We’d love to know your thoughts on anything from the user interface and how it works, through to the approach we’ve taken to put it together. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments.