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Accepted but forgotten truths

2 minutes read

We universally accept and acknowledge accessibility as a crucial aspect of web development, much like acknowledging terms of service before hitting "I agree." We all nod in agreement, understanding its significance, but it's crucial not to forget that accessibility doesn't magically just happen. It demands intentional effort and continuous commitment.

We start projects with a burst of enthusiasm marked by grand gestures, lofty goals and inspiring speeches. We run workshops, empathy labs, and create mood boards. We firmly agree that our product should be inclusive for everyone. Meetings are held, plans are made, and vows are taken to prioritise accessibility from beginning to end.

And as the project gains momentum, that initial fervor tends to dissipate faster than morning dew. We push accessibility considerations aside, conveniently postponing them for the next sprint or the one after that.

Sound familiar?

Of course it does! It's every sprint ever.

It's a pattern that perfectly mirrors the way we interact with terms of service. We acknowledge, accept, and promptly forget amidst the rush of project timelines and competing priorities. This collective amnesia poses a constant challenge, as accessibility often takes a backseat. The key lies in understanding that accessibility, like any other integral project element, requires ongoing attention, not just lip service at the project's outset and in feel-good meetings.

Building an accessible website requires a mindset shift, extending beyond being a mere checkbox-ticking exercise. To fight this collective forgetfulness, incorporating regular checkpoints, continuous education, and fostering a culture that values inclusiveness can be transformative.

It's time to recognise that only consistent effort turns accepted truths into meaningful action. We need to bridge the gap between feel-good talks and the practical integration of accessibility into our daily routine.

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I send out short emails like this every day to help you gain a fresh perspective on accessibility and understand it without the jargon, so you can build more robust products that everyone can use, including people with disabilities.

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