Accessibility: How to Design for All

100% booked

How this course will help your career

What you will learn

  • How design decisions impact accessibility and usability
  • The accessibility standards you should be following
  • The types of disabilities you should design and optimize for
  • How to proactively incorporate accessibility into your design and development processes
  • The best tools and techniques for validating your accessibility efforts
  • How to build an accessibility program and use it to increase your organization’s maturity

Good accessibility is crucial to making your website or app a success. Not only is designing for accessibility required by law in many countries—if you fail to consider accessibility, you are excluding millions of people from using your product. The UN estimates that more than 1 billion people around the world live with some form of disability[1] and as populations age over the coming years, that number is expected to rise rapidly. Add to that the 10 percent of people who suffer from color blindness, and you start to get an idea of why accessibility is so important—not just for moral and legal reasons, but also so that your products can reach their full potential. You need to design for accessibility!

So… what is a proven and pain-free way to well-executed accessibility? If you’ve ever tried to optimize your site or app for accessibility, you’ll know it can be a complex and intimidating task… and it can therefore be very tempting to leave it until last or, worse still, avoid it altogether. By understanding that accessibility is about more than just optimizing your code, you’ll find you can build it into your design process. This will ensure you are taking a disability advocacy approach, and keeping the focus on your users throughout the development process.

This course will help you achieve exactly that—from handling images to getting the most out of ARIA markup, you’ll learn how to approach accessibility from all angles. You’ll gain practical, hands-on skills that’ll enable you to assess and optimize for common accessibility issues, as well as show you how to place an emphasis on the quality of the user experience by avoiding classic mistakes. Whats more, you’ll also come away with the knowledge to conduct effective accessibility testing through working with users with disabilities.

The course includes interviews with an accessibility specialist and blind user, as well as multiple real-world examples of websites and apps where you can demonstrate your skills through analysis and accessibility tests. Not only will this give you a more practical view of accessibility, but you’ll also be able to optimize your websites and mobile apps in an expert manner—avoiding key mistakes that are commonly made when designing for accessibility.

You will be taught by Frank Spillers, CEO of the award-winning UX firm Experience Dynamics, and will be able to leverage his experience from two decades of working with accessibility. Given that, you will be able to learn from, and avoid, the mistakes he’s come across, and apply the best practices he’s developed over time in order to truly make your accessibility efforts shine. Upon completing the course, you will have the skills required to adhere to accessibility guidelines while growing your awareness of accessibility, and ensuring your organization’s maturity grows alongside your own.

Gain an industry-trusted UX Course Certificate

You earn a verifiable and industry-trusted Course Certificate once you complete the course. You can highlight them on your resume, CV, LinkedIn profile or your website.

Course Certificate

Our courses and Course Certificates are trusted by these industry leaders, who have taken up company memberships with the IDF:

Centure, Adobe, GE, IBM, Philips and SAP

Who should take this course

This is one of our intermediate-level courses aimed at design-minded individuals who are either already involved in UX within their organization, or who seek to grow and improve their own accessibility practice in order to progress within the field.

This course is aimed at:

  • UX designers, UX researchers and visual designers who want to know more about accessibility
  • Developers who are looking to learn about, and improve, their accessibility skills and approaches
  • UX or development managers who want to build organizational momentum and align a team around accessibility best practices
  • Legal counsel or teams who are looking to understand and improve accessibility compliance beyond a cursory understanding

Courses at the Interaction Design Foundation are designed to contain comprehensive, evidence-based content, while ensuring that the learning curve is never too steep. All participants will have the opportunity to share ideas, seek help with tests, and enjoy the social aspects afforded by our open and friendly forum.

Learn and work with a global team of designers

When you take part in this course, you will join a global multidisciplinary team working on the course and the exercises at the same time as you. You will work together to improve your skills and understanding. Your course group will be made up of an incredibly diverse group of professionals, all of whom have the same objective—to become successful designers. It’s your chance to learn, grow, and network with your peers across the planet. [1]

Lessons in this course

  • Lessons become available at a schedule of one lesson per week.
  • Lessons remain open for you forever and have no deadlines.
  • There is no time limit to finish a course.
  • You have permanent access to your course material, answers, and classmates for the entire duration of your membership.
  • Estimated time to complete: 17 hours 58 mins spread over 6 weeks.

Lesson 0: Welcome and Introduction

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 39 mins.

  • 0.1: An introduction to IDF courses (14 mins)
  • 0.2: Let our community help you (1 min)
  • 0.3: How to earn your Course Certificate (4 mins)
  • 0.4: Expand your network and grow your skills in our online forums (5 mins)
  • 0.5: Meet and learn from design professionals in your area (1 min)
  • 0.6: Gain Timeless Knowledge Through IDF Courses (11 mins)
  • 0.7: Mandatory lessons vs. Optional lessons (2 mins)
  • 0.8: A mix between video-based and text-based lesson content (2 mins)

Lesson 1: Accessibility Basics

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 2 hours 1 min.

  • 1.1: Accessibility: Why It Matters (24 mins)
  • 1.2: Discussion Exercise (5 mins)
  • 1.3: Ten Principles of Accessibility for Web and Mobile Design (28 mins)
  • 1.4: How Accessibility Impacts Usability and SEO (6 mins)
  • 1.5: Interview: The Impact of Poor Accessibility (20 mins)
  • 1.6: Experiencing Accessibility Issues With Each Disability Type (14 mins)
  • 1.7: What Poor and Good Accessibility Looks Like (23 mins)

Lesson 2: Steps to Gaining Compliance

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 31 mins.

  • 2.1: Using Automated Tools: Pros and Cons (22 mins)
  • 2.2: Following the Guidelines: Pros and Cons (12 mins)
  • 2.3: Getting Compliant: Section 508 Issues and Lessons (25 mins)
  • 2.4: Identifying Your Compliance Requirements: A, AA, AAA (11 mins)
  • 2.5: How to Use WCAG 2.0 Guidelines: Theory vs Practice (15 mins)
  • 2.6: Discussion Exercise (5 mins)

Lesson 3: Optimizing Your Code

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 3 hours 19 mins.

  • 3.1: Code Optimization Basics and Opportunities (6 mins)
  • 3.2: Images: All about Alt + Contrast (1 hour 2 mins)
  • 3.3: Keyboard (10 mins)
  • 3.4: Focus Control + Layout Considerations For UX Designers (14 mins)
  • 3.5: Forms, Tables and Search (17 mins)
  • 3.6: 3rd Party Content (9 mins)
  • 3.7: Pop Ups + Iframes (7 mins)
  • 3.8: HTML5, CSS + ARIA (7 mins)
  • 3.9: ARIA Markup (5 mins)
  • 3.10: Javascript (4 mins)
  • 3.11: Dynamic Content: Infographics, Animations, Audio Descriptions, Video, Live Events (16 mins)
  • 3.12: Designing Accessible Navigation (28 mins)
  • 3.13: Recap (11 mins)
  • 3.14: Exercise: Accessibility Analysis (5 mins)

Lesson 4: Meeting Accessibility Design Challenges

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 5 hours 40 mins.

  • 4.1: Toward Accessible Interaction Design (1 hour 31 mins)
  • 4.2: Discussion Exercise (5 mins)
  • 4.3: Interview: Visual Bias e.g. Maps (6 mins)
  • 4.4: Discussion Exercise (6 mins)
  • 4.5: Web Site and Web Application Issues and Tips (32 mins)
  • 4.6: Interview: Social Media Accessibility Experiences (29 mins)
  • 4.7: Mobile Accessibility Issues and Tips (58 mins)
  • 4.8: VR/AR Accessibility Issues and Tips (41 mins)
  • 4.9: Plain English and Copywriting Tips for Inclusive Design (15 mins)
  • 4.10: PDF Accessibility and Document Accessibility Experiences (10 mins)
  • 4.11: Elderly and Senior Users (33 mins)
  • 4.12: Recap (14 mins)

Lesson 5: Inclusive Design Strategies and Tactics

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 1 hour 57 mins.

  • 5.1: Approaching Inclusive Design and Compliance (15 mins)
  • 5.2: Identify Your Audience: Disability Personas (25 mins)
  • 5.3: Interview: Accessibility Needs to Be Built into Design and Dev from the Start (18 mins)
  • 5.4: Discussion Exercise (5 mins)
  • 5.5: Building an Accessibility Program in Your Organization (22 mins)
  • 5.6: ROI of Accessibility (21 mins)
  • 5.7: Recap (9 mins)

Lesson 6: Accessibility Testing

To be scheduled. Estimated time to complete: 2 hours 52 mins.

  • 6.1: How Does Accessibility Testing Differ From Other Kinds of Testing? (12 mins)
  • 6.2: Assistive Technologies: Test Tools (16 mins)
  • 6.3: Accessibility Testing: How to Conduct Access Testing (59 mins)
  • 6.4: Tips for Recruiting Users; Moderating Tests: Assessing and Taking Action on Feedback (22 mins)
  • 6.5: Interview: Accessibility Testing in Action (30 mins)
  • 6.6: Quality of Accessible Experience: How Far Should You Go? (17 mins)
  • 6.7: Discussion Exercise (5 mins)
  • 6.8: Evaluating Your Accessibility Level: Feeling Confident With Accessibility Optimization (11 mins)

Lesson 7: Course Certificate, Final Networking, and Course Wrap-up

To be scheduled.

  • 7.1: Course Evaluation (1 min)

Learning paths

This course is part of 9 learning paths:

  • UX Designer
    UX Designer
  • Interaction Designer
    Interaction Designer
  • Visual Designer
    Visual Designer
  • Usability Expert
    Usability Expert
  • UI Designer
    UI Designer
  • Front-End Developer
    Front-End Developer
  • Product Manager
    Product Manager
  • User Researcher
    User Researcher
  • Executive
  • How to advance your career with IDF courses

    1. Attend lessons at your own pace

      Each week throughout the course, you get access to a new lesson, but you can move through the lessons at your own pace. This means you can learn before you leave for work, or in between breaks — in as little as 15 minutes per day.

    2. Network online and offline

      Network with your fellow course-takers online, through discussion forums inside lessons. You can also connect with your peers offline via IDF’s Local Groups. Local Groups connect you with other designers around your city who share the same passion in UX design as you.

    3. Advance your career

      Get a verifiable and industry-trusted Course Certificate once you’ve scored at least 70% on a course. Highlight your Course Certificates on your résumé, your LinkedIn profile, or your website to showcase your newly mastered skills.

    Start advancing your career now

    Become a member to take “Accessibility: How to Design for All”. Take any other IDF UX courses at no additional cost. Take a concrete step forward in your career path today.

    Frequently asked questions

    I missed the enrollment date and now the course is closed. Will I have any opportunity to take the course in the future?

    Don't worry if you missed the course. We will re-run it shortly. One of the reasons we continually open and close courses is to be able to control the classroom size.

    Networking is a large part of our value proposition, so we want just the right number of people inside the courses. That is also why we display the "XX % percent booked" on our course icons.

    We’ll re-schedule the course and make it available for sign-up on in only about a week (or perhaps a little bit longer). The actual start date of the course will be a few weeks after sign-ups begin too. We’ve found that this is the best way to maximize flexibility and convenience for everyone, especially you as you put your course program together.

    Can I take more than one course at a time?

    Yes, you can take all the courses you would like. For example, if there are 30 active courses, you can enroll in all 30 courses at the same time and move from one to the other as you please.

    There are no further charges once you’ve paid for your membership.

    Please note: If you have a student membership, you can take a maximum of three courses at the same time. As a student, you can thus still take all the courses you would like – free of extra charges – just as long as you finish them (or drop them) so that you don’t have more than three ongoing courses at the same time.

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    Do I have to be online at an exact time to study?

    No. You can set your own study schedule. There are no "live sessions" or "webinars" since our members are from all timezones around the world. We are a truly global community – with members in every single corner of the world.

    Thus, once you are enrolled, you can take all the time you want to complete a given course. Every "classroom" in each course will never close, so you’ll have permanent access to your classmates and your course material (as well as your own answers).

    Will I receive a Course Certificate?

    Yes. Every time you complete a course, you get an industry-recognized Course Certificate. There is no limit to how many Course Certificates you can earn during your membership. You will also receive a 3-step guide on how to include your Course Certificate on LinkedIn and in your résumé/CV.

    You can see an example of a Course Certificate at the bottom of the Course Catalogue.

    I have answered questions in a lesson; when will they be marked/graded?

    We do the marking/grading in so-called "sprints," where we sit down and do all the marking/grading in one go. Your answers will be graded approximately one week after you submit your work.

    We do this because it is much more efficient than doing one little step every day. It's part of our lean/agile work philosophy, and that approach to efficiency is one of the factors that keeps our membership prices so incredibly low.

    We are doing it to save you money and as part of our mission to lower the cost of high-quality design education.

    I have updated my name, but my course certificate is not updated — how can I change it?

    Please contact us at and our member support will regenerate your certificate with the correct name.

    I have started the course/lesson later than the specified date, are my answers still going to be marked?

    We will be marking answers for as long as there are active members. Therefore, even if you are the only person taking a lesson at that particular time, your answers will still be marked.

    How are courses graded?

    Open-ended questions are graded by our experts and course instructors - not by machines.

    That's one of the reasons why our Course Certificates are credible and recognized by industry leaders.

    I started a course after the official start date; for how long will I have access to the course materials?

    Regardless of when you have enrolled on a course, you will have access to the course materials for the entire duration of your membership. So, if you pay for a one-year membership, you will have access for one year, renewing your membership for a second year means you will have access for two years, and so on.

    English is not my first language. Is that a problem?

    No problem!

    • Our videos have subtitles
    • Our instructors and the IDF staff is from all over the world
    • When your write answers to questions our graders will focus on the answer and not the grammar
    • You can even use Google Translate

    New lessons are starting before I have had the chance to complete all aspects of the previous lesson(s); am I going to be locked out of these unfinished lessons?

    No, you will not be locked out of any lesson or course. You will have access to all course materials throughout your membership, so there is no pressure to keep at the same pace as the specified lesson release dates.

    All we recommend is that you try to stick to the same schedule as other participants. The reason is they may have moved on to other lessons, thereby meaning you could miss out on the social aspects of the course(s). However, we anticipate that there will be a constant flow of participants working through different lessons and courses, so overall you are unlikely to miss out. We will also be running all courses again — so there really is no rush.

    Are course certificates awarded on a specific date?

    No; you can generate your certificate as soon as you attain at least 70% of the total course points.

    When will I receive my Course Certificate?

    Course certificates will be given to participants when they have scored more than 70% or more of the total course points. For example, if a course contains ten lessons each with ten questions, you will receive a course certificate when the instructor has awarded you at least 70 points (70% of the total course points).

    There is no specified time that certificates will be awarded — instead, they are given to participants as and when they have answered all questions, even if this is long after the official end date.

    How do I add my Course Certificate to my LinkedIn profile?

    Below is a step-by-step guide on how to add your IDF course(s) to your LinkedIn profile:

    1. Log in to your LinkedIn account, then go to your profile.
    2. On the right, in the Add profile section dropdown, choose Background and then select the + next to Licenses & Certifications.

    3. In the following fields add:
      • Name – Course name
      • Issuing organization – The Interaction Design Foundation
      • Check the field “This credential does not expire”
      • Issue date - Input the date written on your certificate (e.g., May 2019)
      • Credential ID – Your membership ID number (it's written on your certificate)
      • Credential URL: Input the certificate URL provided on your course page

    4. Click on the save button.

    Congratulate yourself!
    You’ve made a great accomplishment by earning your course certificate, and now the world knows about it!

    How do I add the IDF Membership Certificate to my LinkedIn Profile?

    Below is a step-by-step guide on how to add your IDF membership certificate to your LinkedIn profile:

    1. Log in to your LinkedIn account, then go to your profile.
    2. On the right, in the Add profile section dropdown, choose Background and then select the + next to Licenses & Certifications.

    3. In the following fields add:
      • Name – Membership Certificate
      • Issuing organization – The Interaction Design Foundation
      • Check the field “This credential does not expire”
      • Issue date - Input the date when you joined our community (e.g., May 2019)
      • Credential ID – Your membership ID number (it's written on your certificate)
      • Credential URL: Input the certificate URL provided on your profile page
    4. Click on the save button.

    It is as simple as that. Now, anyone who visits your profile can see your certificate!

    How much will I have to pay for the courses?

    As a member, you can take as many courses as you want with no additional costs. This means you only have to pay our membership fee to take an unlimited number of courses. There will be no further charges on top of the membership fee, no matter how many courses you decide to take.

    Do you provide mostly beginners' or more advanced courses?

    We provide courses for all levels of mastery and accross the full spectrum. If you’re new to design, you can start from our beginner courses and progress all the way up to our advanced ones. If you’re an established designer, on the other hand, you will find some of our lower-level courses provide a good refresher—and the advanced ones, a bit of a challenge.

    How long does it take to complete a course?

    Once enrolled in a course, you will gain access to a new lesson each week, which you are free to complete without any deadlines and no end date, either.