A comment on accessibility blindness
The recent ‘services for business’ campaign from the RNIB really caught my attention. Not because it says something new, but because it says something old. Very old.
For too long, designers have designed for themselves. Not for those who use the designs they create. I know because I was one of them once. I chose typefaces that worked for my design, type sizes that worked for my design (the smaller, the better), colours that worked for my design, images that worked for my design, and layouts that worked for my design. …
It’s been exciting to see, how since that day, the industry has embraced accessibility, with organisations like Litmus and Email on Acid, and individuals like Mark Robbins and Elliot Ross, contributing to the conversation and making a difference.
What I covered in that first talk in 2015 is still relevant today. Along with other insights we’ve made as an industry, they remain the go-to implementations for accessibility in email. A logical code order. Live text, text alignment, text size (font-size) and text spacing (line-height). Colour use, colour contrast and ‘blue links’. Alternative text, alt attributes and semantic elements (using margin:0…
I was diagnosed as a child, after experiencing my first, (and sadly not my last), seizure, playing outside with my dad, in the sunshine, in our back garden. I lost consciousness, and landed on my chin, on the edge of our concrete patio. Bleeding, I was quickly rushed to hospital by my very concerned, and very confused parents.
After being stitched up, I spent a number of days in hospital, (which I recall being a bit of an adventure), while the medical staff conducted tests to understand what had happened to me that fine sunny evening. …
At Litmus Live, London, 2017, in my session, Accessibility in Action, I talked about some of the recent techniques I’d been implementing in my email, Type E:, to make it more accessible — constructing it with <div>s instead of <table>s (with fallbacks for Microsoft Outlook) — using HTML5 semantic elements to define sections of content, like the <header>, the <nav> and the <footer> — and using border-bottom instead of text-decoration on text links.
I started using border-bottom instead of text-decoration on text links to benefit people living with dyslexia, for whom underlining can cause text to run together, or collide.
aka Paul Airy – follower of Jesus, husband, father, and Accessibility & Usability Consultant, with a particular fondness for typography. #EmailGeek