Accessibility for Developers

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“The one argument for accessibility that doesn’t get made nearly often enough is how extraordinarily better it makes some people’s lives. How many opportunities do we have to dramatically improve people’s lives just by doing our job a little better?”  ― Steve Krug, User Experience Expert and Author

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Impact

Accessible front-end development ensures people with different abilities can access, understand, and navigate web content, regardless of how they’re accessing it. 

Developing accessible digital products requires a commitment to learning and implementing accessibility skills and best practices.

As a developer, you are critical to making state websites and applications accessible and you should be including accessibility as soon as you begin writing code.

Assessing and testing websites and apps for accessibility as you build them will ensure they function and display correctly for people with disabilities.

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Your Responsibilities

  • Understand the State Accessibility Technical Standard, front-end accessibility development best practices, and testing processes. 
  • Build and test websites and applications that work for all users, including those with disabilities.
  • Coding to standards is critical because it supports flexibility. For example, allowing users to set the width of the window so they can adjust the line length, or change the colors on the screen.
  • Integrate accessibility acceptance criteria into user stories.
  • Include compliance with state accessibility standards in the “definition of done” for all product increments.
  • Include both automated and manual testing accessibility testing into development sprints.
  • Understand the value of the Siteimprove tool and be able to use it when possible to assess and improve website accessibility.
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What You Can Do

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Evaluate a website or application for accessibility

We cannot check all accessibility using a tool alone. Human judgment is required because automated tools may give inaccurate results. 

Evaluate accessibility early and throughout the process to find and fix problems early. This will save you time and money in the long run.

Testing Resources

Evaluation Tools

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Resources for State of Colorado Agencies

Siteimprove: Siteimprove’s software helps to improve State website usability and accessibility by automating the process of finding errors and problems. Siteimprove alone will not make websites accessible but is part of a holistic approach to managing web services.

For questions about using Siteimprove or Siteimprove Academy, please contact Theresa Montano, OIT Solutions Architect of Accessibility at theresa.montano@state.co.us.

Don't have access to Siteimprove? Use these free browser extensions:

Siteimprove Academy, Siteimprove (Requires a login)

To request accessibility testing: