Accessibility is a vital and yet often overlooked aspect of web design. While Crowdstack has always maintained a respectable adherence to the accessibility standards (for WCAG / ADA compliance), today, we are happy to announce that we’ve taken Crowdstack’s compliance to an entirely new level. With the Accessibility Release, there have been a number of improvements designed to streamline the experience for those who might have struggled in the past.
For users reliant on voice navigation (such as through a screen reader), there is now a “Skip to main content” alert that will appear when first tabbing on a new page. This allows users to bypass the header navigation and get right to the meat of the page.
We have also removed a number of hidden elements that would have made voice-directed navigation more laborious than necessary. By removing focusability from elements that didn’t need it, users who cannot actually view the page will no longer have to wade through elements that should not have been accessible.
Screen readers are a vital service for some users, and while most of Crowdstack’s form fields contained formal labels, many did not. With the Accessibility Release, all form elements will have readable messaging making all form fields clear and understandable, allowing users to fully and coherently participate in the community. Along those lines, interactive elements on the page will always have messaging to make their purpose clear without having to actually trigger or use it. From icons to buttons, everything has a message for those that do not gain the benefit of the visual context.
Along with all of these improvements, we have rewritten Crowdstack’s internal design guidelines and best practices to ensure we maintain and improve accessibility of Crowdstack moving forward. Our goal has always been and will continue to be to serve the needs of all Crowdstackers, regardless of special needs.
All of these improvements will arrive early next week!