Foundations of Website Accessibility

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What You Don’t Know About Accessibility Can Hurt You and Your Clients

There is no definition of an “accessible website” and you can’t approach accessibility with just an overlay, theme or plugin. Some of those make things worse and can slow down the site.

Also, the WCAG guidelines can be overwhelming. Plus, you can’t just tick off a list of the guidelines and think you’ll end up with an accessible site. There is also a lot of gray area when it comes to addressing accessibility, so you need to understand the guidelines and how users of assistive technology get around a site.

Why You Should Care About Building Accessible Websites

To help protect yourself and your clients from potential accessibility lawsuits and hefty fines

If you’re not building accessible websites, you’re opening up your clients—and yourself—to potential legal claims. There have been cases where clients have had to pay out hefty settlements and legal fees (which could cost anywhere from $4k to $100k) and then looked to reclaim them from the website developer. (Don’t think professional liability insurance will protect you!)

To gain a competitive edge

Most web designers and developers are not talking to clients about accessibility and do not possess these skills, so this is a great way to stand out, add more value (and charge more) for your services.

To build better websites that get results

A whopping 71% of disabled users leave a website that is not accessible, and the number of people who have a disability is anything but negligible. According to the World Bank, 1 billion people worldwide have a disability. Can you or your clients afford to turn away up to 20% of potential or existing customers, clients, donors or members?

Accessibility has many other benefits:

  • the enhanced speed of the website thanks to cleaner and leaner code, which can help with search engine ranking;
  • the ease with which they can visually scan a page and find content;
  • better readability due to good typography and color choices;
  • clearly distinguishable hyperlinks;
  • being able to read transcripts along with videos;
  • notification of links that go to another website.

What You’ll Learn

In this course, Colleen Gratzer, accessibility consultant/designer/developer, reveals practices that have worked based on her experience designing and building accessible websites, years of research and consulting with other accessibility providers. The goal of this course is for you to better understand accessibility and have a solid foundation and process for building accessible websites.

This Foundations of Website Accessibility course will teach you:

  • how to talk to clients about accessibility,
  • ways to help protect yourself and your client,
  • best practices for accessibility and usability,
  • a process for building accessible websites,
  • how to test websites for accessibility,
  • ways to earn more with this work,
  • recommendations for furthering your knowledge on this topic.

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What the Course Covers

The foundational course covers accessibility and usability, including many of the WCAG 2.0 and 2.1 A and AA guidelines. The content is platform agnostic, although several WordPress techniques and plugins are covered.
  • Module 1: Understanding and Selling AccessibilityLearn about accessibility, how to talk to clients and overcome objections about it, how to protect yourself in your contracts.
  • Module 2: Structure & Sitewide ElementsLearn practices that affect the overall site—its foundation and navigation, including keyboard navigation and some CSS techniques.
  • Module 3: Color & ContrastFind out the guidelines for color and contrast, what on a website is affected by them and some best practices that go beyond those requirements.
  • Module 4: Text & Icon FontsLearn how to properly format text, headings, lists, tables, icon fonts and more, for accessibility, readability and usability.
  • Module 5: MediaLearn best practices for handling images, carousels, audio and video, and downloadable files.
  • Module 6: Hyperlinks, Buttons & FormsLearn coding, styling and best practices for hyperlinks, buttons and form elements, including how a screen reader interacts with them.
  • Module 7: Finishing, Testing & Ongoing ComplianceLearn about functionality you can add to the site to help the user and the client, along with many testing techniques and how to help the client with ongoing compliance.

What You Get

  • Lifetime access and future updates to the course
  • Full immediate access to the course
  • Handouts and checklists for each module, including a list of accessibility tools
  • A checklist of accessibility tasks that you can incorporate into any existing list you may be using
  • Quiz for each module
  • Q&A sessions from the live launch
  • A list of legal, technical and other resources


  • Text for accessibility best practices that you can put into a guide for your client
  • A WordPress plugin to help your clients with accessibility
  • Access to the course Facebook group

All for only $749

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What Past Students Have Said

“This class delivered so much valuable content and in an orderly and logical method. The course collateral is invaluable, well written and easy to follow.
Colleen is an exceptional teacher with great communication skills. She is not only an expert in her field but is a fabulous teacher. Not everyone can do both, but she certainly can.
I highly recommend that anyone developing websites take this course.”
–Tammie O’Neal
“Before taking Colleen's web accessibility course, I had surface level knowledge of the subject and I wouldn't consider myself someone who could advise on the topic of web accessibility. Now, I feel much more confident in my ability to help website owners understand how building their sites with the disabled in mind is not only good practice, but good for business as well.”
–Chris Nunn
“Colleen really knows her stuff when it comes to accessibility. She not only understands the guidelines and what they mean, but she knows how to best implement them in your website design and development. She saved me hours of research and guess work!”
–Matthew Rodela
“Colleen is informative, thorough, and you can tell she really cares about why accessibility is important. I highly recommend her training!”
–Billy Hoisington

Your Instructor

Colleen Gratzer
Colleen Gratzer

Colleen Gratzer is an award-winning designer with more than 22 years of experience in branding, print, and web design and development. Four of those years include being an accessibility consultant after having been trained by one of the top accessibility providers to the U.S. government who knew of her solid design and technical skills and wanted her to take her InDesign/PDF accessibility course. After taking the course, she spent a lot of time learning about designing and developing accessible websites and educating clients about the importance of accessibility.

She’s since provided InDesign accessibility training to the U.S. Department of the Interior (May 2019), and appeared on several podcasts and given presentations about website accessibility. Her business, Gratzer Graphics, provides accessibility consulting to nonprofits, creative firms and developers.

As Seen/Heard On

  • WP Elevation.
  • Agency Trailblazer podcast.
  • Design for Geeks presentation.
  • Smart Web Creators logo.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have access to the course?
After enrolling, you get lifetime access and future updates to the course.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
I would never want you to be unhappy. If you are not satisfied, contact me in the first 7 days of the course and I will give you a full refund.
Do I need to know how to code a website?
You should have some familiarity with HTML and CSS, but you do not need to know how to build a site from scratch, especially if you’re using WordPress.
Is the course specific to WordPress?
The course has a lot of content that is platform agnostic, but there are also some WordPress-specific recommendations for how to do things as well.
Does this course cover everything there is and ever will be to know about accessibility?
No. This course, and no course, can cover all there is and all there ever will be about accessibility. That’s because some aspects of accessibility are open to interpretation, and there may be several approaches to some things. What you will get from this course is a very comprehensive, foundational understanding of accessibility and usability that will empower you to provide users a high-quality experience.
Got a question or having technical issues?
Email me at [email protected] and I'll respond ASAP.