Recently, Arvind Krishna, SVP and director of IBM Research, made a comment along the lines of: “If you want to get people interested in what you’re working on, don’t talk to them about it – SHOW THEM”. That idea is the basis behind the Va11yS project.

When designers and developers are new to accessibility, it’s easy for them to get overwhelmed by all of the standards, laws, and regulations. Instead of having them get mired in checklists and the language behind them, why not show them how accessibility works – and how it is to implement – via live, working code samples?

Va11yS, or Verified Accessibility Samples, is a repository of live working code samples that designers and developers can easily access to test with different assistive technologies and tools.

We built the initial samples using code snippets found in the Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. The aim is to keep these code samples simple so that developers can view them and quickly implement the ideas into their own code.

By using GitHub and hosting this repository in the open source community, we hope to reach the largest audience of collaborators while building a collection of accessible code samples covering a vast range of languages, technologies and frameworks such as HTML, CSS, ARIA, Angular, React, Swift and the list goes on!

Anywhere-access and always-on mobile devices can create scenarios where everyone is disabled. Image shows examples of people working on mobile devices in outside light, in a noisy place, using a single hand, on a bumpy road, with tired eyes, on a Bluetooth headset while driving and in public places.

Why should I contribute

Va11yS is wide open to submissions. Developers can use their favorite languages or frameworks in creating the accessible code samples. They can also use the repository of samples to test new tools, experiment with assistive technologies, and even learn the basics of accessibility in other languages. The code samples contributed here can benefit countless individuals – both with disabilities and without.

What technology problem will I help solve

Va11yS is about making the techniques behind accessibility easily consumable by designers and developers new to accessibility. Rather than designers and developers getting caught up in standards and regulations, show them the code in easily digestible code samples that they can quickly copy into or replicate in their own projects.

An added benefit is that Va11yS has the ability to become the largest, single point for accessible samples covering a vast multitude of languages, libraries, and frameworks.

How will Va11yS help my business

Va11yS helps save time and speeds development. Developers can spend less time miring in lengthy technical standards trying to ascertain how to implement the requirements and instead leverage simple, straightforward examples that show them how to implement accessible solutions.