When a new project is started, one of the first considerations is design along with functionality.
For web designers who also need to create accessible designs, additional considerations much be taken in order to the meet the color contrast ratios provided by WCAG 2.0, which is used by the ADA and also Section 504 and Section 508.
Use the ADA design checklist created by WebAim.com for a quick reference.
Plan Heading Structure Early
Ensure all content and design fits into a logical heading structure.
Consider Reading Order
The reading order should be the same as the visual order.
Provide Good Contrast
Be especially careful with light shades of gray, orange, and yellow. Check contrast levels with WebAim’s color contrast checker.
Use True Text Whenever Possible
Watch the Use of CAPS
All caps can be difficult to read and can be read incorrectly by screen readers.
Use Adequate Font Size
Font size can vary based on the font chosen, but 10 point is usually a minimum.
Remember Line Length
Don’t make it too long or too short.
Make Sure Links are Recognizable
Differentiate links in the body of the page with underlines or something other than color alone.
Design Link Focus Indicators
Ensure keyboard users can visually identify a focused link. Use the standard dotted line or other non-color designators.
Design a “Skip to Main Content” Link
A link for keyboard users to skip navigation should be at the top of the page. It can be hidden, but should be visible when it receives keyboard focus.
Ensure Link Text Makes Sense on Its Own
Avoid “Click Here” in link text. Other ambiguous links, such as “More” or “Continue”, can also be confusing.
Use Animation, Video, and Audio Carefully
If used, provide a play/pause button. Avoid flashing or strobing content: It can cause seizures.
Don’t Rely on Color Alone
Because users often can’t distinguish or may override page colors, color cannot be the only way information is conveyed.
Design Accessible Form Controls
Ensure form controls have descriptive labels and instructions. Pay close attention to form validation errors and recovery mechanisms.
Content Source: WebAim.com