Accessibility principles

I collaborated with Craig Abbott, and we created 5 accessibility principles.

They where orginally published on the DWP Accessibility Manual.

1. Inclusion is better than empathy

It’s good to understand how other people might be feeling, but do not assume you know their needs. 1 in 3 of us show unconscious bias towards people who have a disability.

Make sure you include a diverse group of people and you are collaborative when designing services.

2. Accessible design is good design

Good design should meet needs and solve problems. If you design something which is inaccessible you will create barriers for people. Good design is not just what looks good, it must be usable.

It must work for everyone, regardless of what impairments they have or what tools they might use.

3. Start with what works

Start simple and only add complexity if it is needed. Use what is already available and re-use what others have already proven to work. The more things you design from scratch, the more work you need to do to make sure they’re accessible.

Anything can be made accessible, but complexity takes time and effort.

4. If it’s not accessible, it’s not done

Do not consider something finished until you are sure it is accessible. Accessibility is not a choice, it is law.

It is always a priority, and if you neglect it you will create more work for yourself later.

5. This is still for everyone

Everything we design should be as inclusive, readable and usable as possible. We are still building for the needs of everyone.

We provide services for everybody in society, not just people who are using the web.

This is still for everyone is a reference to the existing principle “This is for everyone” from the Government Design Principles.