On October 16, 2017, I joined seven other fabulous nonprofit technology folks to present at a “speed geek” SeaTech4Good meetup. Speed geeking is just like speed dating! Small groups of 2-6 went around the room listening to each 5-minute presentation. We then had 30 minutes at the end for folks to go back and chat with the presenters.
I came to present about my work helping nonprofits make their websites more accessible. At the end of the presentation—if there is such a thing in a 5 minute presentation—I showed off the tool tota11y which I think is the most approachable accessibility testing tool out there. It uses plain language, focuses on some easier-to-understand issues, and tries to offer improvements like suggesting colors with accessible contrast.
While you had to be there to get the full experience, here are the brief slides that accompanied my presentation. I also made a handout with four concrete accessibility tips and links to resources and more testing tools!
Making a Difference
Traffic and good weather kept this event from having a huge turn out, but I was thrilled with the interest folks had in the topic. People running business, nonprofits, and current students in code schools all came to speed geek. This seemed to be the first taste of web accessibility for many code school attendees. While that’s disappointing, I was so happy to speak with these burgeoning developers at such a critical moment.
As I told every group: accessible websites work better for everyone and developers who pay attention to accessibility tend to be more detail-oriented and holistic in their user considerations.
A Rainbow of Color Contrast Tests
Included on that handout are five (5!) color contrast testing tools! (Not familiar with color contrast? Here’s an article to get you up to speed on color contrast.) Why so many? Each has different strengths that lend it to different uses. The list seems worth specifically including here:
- WebAIM color contrast tester is easy to use, has comprehensive results, and includes lots of ways to input colors.
- Lea Verou’s contrast tester is my favorite because it looks great and can handle outputting the possible range of contrast for semi-opaque background colors!
- Tanaguru’s checker, like tota11y, suggests similar colors to what you test with better contrast.
- HexNaw takes up to 12 colors and outputs the contrast checks for every single combination. This is great for testing an entire brand’s color palette.
- The Chrome extension Color Contrast Analyzer handles any situation where you don’t have a discreet background and foreground color like text on top of an image.
Sad you missed out on speed geeking and learning about accessibility?
- Sign up for the Accessibility Camp Seattle mailing list so you can attend this fabulous free unconference next year.
- Come to WordCamp Seattle on November 4-5, 2017! We’ll have amazing presentations about WordPress and the web, including talks on mobile accessibility and accessible theme development. Other talks will cover blogging, branding, business development, mental health, open source, job searching, and nonprofit marketing!
— Mark Root-Wiley (@MRWweb) October 10, 2017