The group that you could help is huge. The Polish Association of the Blind reports that there are more than 3 million people in Poland with visual impairment and 42 thousand with complete blindness (based on official, national statistical data of 2016 – not so fresh; still, it is not better in 2020, so…). These numbers do not include people with other problems, for example, those resulting from severe sickness, with movement disabilities, or with learning problems, older or just foreigners, who are not fluent with the language. All of them, and many more, are not able to use digital products the way people without disabilities do.
And still, with that massive group of possible users (and potential customers), there are not many digital products — websites, mobile apps — that could be used without the struggle. Just imagine: these people want to surf, to buy online, to listen to something, or just to get news, that they use the software even if it almost hurts. It is like using a website with twenty pop-ups coming up before you can click order… Oh wait, something like this actually happened when the GDPR became law :). It was not pleasant to use, right? Think now about disabled people and their every day. And also, know this: it is not THAT hard to improve the software to be accessible. It is just a matter of some amount of work and empathy.
For those who would like to get to know more about the accessibility of digital products, there is ready-to-go documentation: WCAG. It is crucial to remember, though:
- it is not a brand new, fancy guide what technology is the best and more accessible or how exactly to implement improvements. It is a guide but filled with examples shown in a general way. You can use it no matter what technology you use. It is an advantage, and disadvantage of this documentation, as it is not full of ready-to-use solutions;
- it is official documentation (and ISO norm also), so you bet it is not so easy to get through all examples and descriptions. As with all formal documentation, sometimes while reading, you could feel a huge desire to just run away from it. Be brave (and read further this article, as Rafał prepared excellent instruction on how to use WCAG in your everyday work – check the text below);
Just try it and go improve your code to be accessible!
The full article is on the Allegro Tech blog: “Understanding accessibility”. Written by Katarzyna Małecka (Teina, iTaxi) and Rafal Guzniczak (Allegro).
Table of content
- The four layers of guidance (WCAG)
- Four key principles (POUR)
- Guidelines (1.1 to 4.1)
- Success criteria (levels A to AAA)
This article was written in cooperation between Allegro and iTaxi. The IT team shared case studies and tips & tricks regarding accessibility issues and how to solve problems to simplify the experience for blind users.
Allegro is the #1 online shopping destination in Poland and the #6 eTail business in Europe. Started in 1999, today it is one of the most recognized brands in Poland.
|Author||Guźniczak, Rafał and Małecka, Katarzyna|