Udacity Launches Free Web Accessibility Course Built by Google


Udacity, an online education site, has launched a free web accessibility course built by Google. The site previously provided university-style courses, but is now focusing on its “Nanodegree programs,” offering courses and tracks created in partnership with industry leaders.

The new “Web Accessibility: Developing with Empathy” course lasts for approximately six weeks and students can work at their own pace. It is listed as one of the advanced courses, as prerequisites include knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Students learn what it takes to make a web application accessible.

The syllabus includes six lessons that introduce students to the web accessibility guidelines (WAI – Web Accessibility Initiative) and the concept of using the focus element to make pages navigable via keyboard. Students will also learn about semantics – how to make content and navigation friendly for screen readers and other assistive technologies. The final lessons teach students how to add attributes to custom interactions to make them native elements, manage attributes using JavaScript, and design with accessibility in mind.

Now that WordPress core has adopted accessibility coding standards for all new and updated code, contributors will be required to meet WCAG 2.0 guidelines at level AA. Udacity’s free course offers an in depth look at how to implement some of the accessibility best practices that are included in the new guidelines in the core handbook. The course is also a good introduction for WordPress theme, plugin, and application developers who want to improve the accessibility of their products.


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