For many web developers, accessibility is complex and somewhat difficult. The Accessibility Project understands that and we want to help to make web accessibility easier for front end developers to implement. Our strategy is to accomplish this with 3 principles in mind:

  1. Digestible. We strive to feature short, digestible pieces of content.
  2. Up-to-date. The project is hosted on Github so information can be current with the latest standards.
  3. Forgiving. People make mistakes and web accessibility is hard, so we seek to be encouraging.

Why accessibility is important

Blind and visually impaired make up 285,000,000 people according to the World Health Organization (June 2012) with 39,000,000 categorized as legally blind and the remaining 246,000,000 visually impaired. Deaf and hearing impaired make up 275,000,000 (2004) in the moderate-to-profound hearing impairment category.

To put these in perspective, the population of the United States of America is 315,000,000 (January 2013).

If you care and are knowledgeable about accessibility and want to help please consider contributing. We would love people to help write articles, edit inaccuracies, and provide top-level information.

What does the term A11Y mean?

In short, A11Y means “accessibility”. A11Y is what is known as a numeronym, somewhat similar to an acronym. Essentially, numbers are used in place of letters to achieve the desired result. You may be familiar with other numeronyms, such as “K-9” for “Canine” or “W3C” for “World Wide Web Consortium”.

There are a number of ways a numeronym can be created. In the case of translating “accessibility” to “A11Y”, the first and last letters of “accessibility” are preserved, replacing the remaining letters between with their sum total, 11.

One of the motivations for a numeronym is the limited space available on social media platforms for posting content. For example, on Twitter - where the character limit was 140 (until November 2017) - by replacing the hashtag #accessibility with #a11y, the author now has another 9 characters available to them. Easily enough for another one or two important words on the subject of accessibility.

Another motivation is discoverability. Searching for this subject with “accessibility”, you will find many irrelevant resources using that word in various other senses, and you will also miss resources in languages other than English. To the extent that specialists use “a11y” as an international technical term, you can find more relevant resources, and with greater precision.

About this site

This site is built with Jekyll, collaboratively by developers (see the footer) on Github. In its current state, The Accessibility Project may not be a perfect example of an accessible website… yet. We’re committed, through the power of Open Source, to incrementally improve our own accessibility on the site going forward.

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