'The Washington Post' Issues Accessibility Guidelines

The Washington Post has released accessibility guidelines for insiders and outsiders using its open-source design system,  

Launched last year, this system made the code that powers The Post and its features publicly available for the first time.  It was one of the initial projects led by Holden Foreman, the Post’s first accessibility engineer.  

“The Post is dedicated to making its content accessible to all, recently hiring its first-ever accessibility engineer to make this possible,” says Arturo Silva, engineering lead. :Building on this commitment, we want to share our guidelines publicly so that others can also better serve a wider community.” 



Silva adds, ““These guidelines are not requirements, but instructions informed by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and supplemented with real user feedback and online discussion in the accessibility community. We will be constantly iterating on these to make them as up to date as possible.” 

In addition, the Post felt strongly that ”this type of work should be available widely in service of people with disabilities ,”  adds Brian Alfaro, design lead. “Including these accessibility guidelines in our design system allows us to standardize and centralize this information, both for The Post and for outside individuals using our open-source system.”  

The guidelines include an accessibility checklist, testing strategies and considerations to make when creating online content. They cover::

  • Accessibility Checklist
  • Audio and Video
  • Color 
  • Plain language, symbole and forms
  • Semantic HTML and ARIA
  • Alt text 
  • Automated testing tools 
  • Keyboard accessibility
  • Screen readers
  • Text size, fonts and zoom settings
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