Shifting Accessibility Left: What Do You Think?

I read this blog post today about shifting accessibility left. Further left than the testers, developers and designers.


When we talk about shifting left, and we advocate for shifting left, we cannot be solely focused on testing.

I was wondering what do you think about the author’s views on shifting accessibility left? Is it something that you can see your organisation getting on board with?

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I made a topic to discuss something similar at the end of last year but it didn’t seem to generate much interest.

I agree that it should be shifted more left than it is now. At the moment, it’s either something done late on or is a nice-to-have (or is just plain not done!).

Unit tests to check for certain elements, e.g. alt-text, could help to catch some quick-win mistakes I think.

But going even further, it needs to be part of those initial discussions around a requirement. Three Amigos sessions for example could discuss it at that early stage - “what do we need to think about here for accessibility?” type things.


Shifting Accessibility left is something I am actively pursuing at present with our web teams. At present, we have an external agency do one accessibility test of our site a year whereas I’d like it to be brought into our sprints and plug some of the tools like AXe etc into our CI. As a first step, although this obviously needs monitoring and actioning when it spots something but then that comes down to training the team.

I would also like to bring the knowledge of accessibility principles in house to help it be designed in etc. Got a long road to go down…

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