Web Accessibility Resources for Front-end Developers

At Guidewire, we are passionate about ensuring that technology empowers people, and that people with challenges or disabilities are still able to excel at their jobs and achieve their goals.

What is Web Accessibility in Development?

According to the WC3 Web Accessibility Initiative, “Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them.”

The term “disability” in the context of web experiences refers to a wide spectrum of challenges and impairments that include:

  • auditory
  • cognitive
  • neurological
  • physical
  • speech
  • visual

Accessible web experiences benefit people at any level of ability. Many people only think of disabilities as permanent conditions that affect a smaller percentage of the population. However, our abilities can also be temporarily impaired by the environment or circumstance in which we find ourselves.

As an example, if someone has a short-term injury like a broken arm, it could affect their ability to carry out certain tasks on their computer or phone. A noisy environment like an airport or coffee shop could also make it hard to hear clearly. By considering disabilities in this broader context, we can develop better web experiences for an even greater number of people.

Starting Resources to Learn About Web Accessibility

If you’re a front-end developer, there are many resources available to help you learn how to build accessible web experiences. We recommend the following resources as a great starting point to learn more:

Six Accessibility Tools for Developers

You can also use one or more of the following tools to ensure that your web experiences conform to accessibility standards:

  1. axe DevTools – Web Accessibility Testing Chrome Extension
  2. Lighthouse in Chrome DevTools
  3. TGPi’s ARC Toolkit for Page-Level Testing
  4. TGPi’s Color Contrast Analyser (CCA)
  5. The a11y Project’s Accessibility Checklist
  6. How to Meet WCAG Quick Reference

While this is a shortlist of some of our favorite tools, you can find more than 100 testing and evaluation tools on the WC3 Web Accessibility Initiative website.

How Does Guidewire Approach Accessibility?

Guidewire strives to conform to WCAG with regards to accessibility. The goal of WCAG is to provide “a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally.”

At Guidewire, we’re committed to developing software that conforms to the four guiding principles of WCAG standards: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.

Accessibility and Guidewire’s Jutro Design System

Jutro Digital Platform strives to be an inclusive platform, and supporting accessibility is critical to that mission. Our long-term goal is to achieve full accessibility support for all components and features of the framework, from planning to design and then from development to release.

Within Jutro Digital Platform, our Jutro design system components include accessibility support that conforms with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.0 at the AA level (WCAG 2.0 AA), developed by the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C WAI).

This means that the Jutro design system components can be:

  • used without a mouse (keyboard only).
  • used with assistive technologies including screen readers, screen magnification software, and braille displays.
  • used without a reliance on sound, color, animation, or timing.

At Guidewire, our development teams employ the Axe Core testing library as they develop the components, in consultation with UX & Accessibility. Our UX Accessibility Designer also performs manual accessibility assessments of our software, reviewing color contrast, screen magnification, and keyboard operability with a variety of screen reader/browser combinations.

Dive Deeper into Accessibility with Guidewire

For additional details about how we approach accessibility with the Jutro design system, you can learn more in our Guidewire Documentation (login required). You can also subscribe to our Developer Newsletter to get updates on our community events for accessibility related workshops, webinars, and talks.

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About the Author
Nada El Maliki

Nada El Maliki

Instructional Designer

Uniting the pillars of pedagogy with the multimedia technology to create powerful learning experiences

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