As accessibility consultants, developers with accessibility in mind, accessibility program/ product managers or assistive technology users we often have many questions. The questions can be but not limited to using certain accessibility feature, web accessibility technique, Web accessibility standard, accessibility testing tool, browser/ operating system/ assistive technology compatibility, coding techniques, accessibility laws. We often look for answers online with some keywords on search engines. In case we don’t get our question answered on the blogs and accessibility websites we rely on discussion forums. Through this article I want to highlight some of such forums specifically for accessibility.
Below are some discussion forums where individuals talk about web accessibility and assistive technology. Most of them are good for any one from a beginner expertise to an advanced in the space of accessibility.
WebAIM is the most active discussion forum where you can ask for a basic accessibility question to an advanced one. Register to the WebAIM discussion forum. The discussion forum archive is maintained in the chronological order and is very accessible.
A specific tag is provided for accessibility discussion in Stack Overflow, I have not observed it so far but while researching for this article I found Stack Overflow have very good traffic on accessibility questions. You can post your question to the Stack Overflow accessibility discussion forum. Signup if you do not have a Stack Overflow account before posting.
W3C WAI Interest Group
The mission of the WAI Interest Group (WAI IG) is to provide a forum for reviewing, discussing, and providing input into deliverables being developed by WAI Working Groups, including accessibility aspects of specification reviews, research topics identified during accessibility reviews, and educational materials development; also for exploring web accessibility issues and solutions, and sharing information about web accessibility activities around the world. Visit the discussion forum archive page to get a feel of the group.
To subscribe to the list, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with “subscribe” as the subject.
Before subscribing to the discussion forum, I highly encourage you to go through the W3C WAI IG especially the Using the WAI Interest Group (IG) mailing list section.
Accessible Google Group
I commonly observe more questions related to Google products on the Accessible Google discussion forum but in general many questions go through in this group. Register to the Accessible discussion forum and participate on accessibility discussions.
Official Accessibility Support Community- Apple
I have not used this discussion forum so far. Since this is an official forum on accessibility by Apple, this is a right place to post if your question is related to any accessibility feature on IOS or Mac. Alternately if you have specific questions on any IOS app or accessibility problem with safari, this is the right place. Official Accessibility Support Community- Apple
Here are few LinkedIn Groups in which members share useful resources, ask and answer questions.
Web Accessibility group
Having more than 7000 members, undoubtedly this discussion forum is a great place to exchange any accessibility questions and ideas.
The Modern Web Accessibility forum
Having more than 2200 members, this discussion forum is definitely a great place to exchange web accessibility and modern a11y problems including those on mobile and responsive.
Few more active linkedIn groups
- Section 508 accessibility professionals
- Accessibility Consulting
- PDF/UA (accessibility)
- Accessible PDF
Added on 04 November 2016
Best practices while posting to the discussion forums
Below are few common rules one can keep in mind while posting to these discussion forums:
- Be respectful. Be positive. Be open to different perspectives.
- Provide constructive information. Focus on developing solutions, rather than just complaining.
- Avoid personal attacks, naming calling, and such.
- Explain the issue clearly. Provide sufficient background information.
- Check the mailing list archive before asking. Your question might have answered earlier.
If you are aware of any other discussion forums and mailing lists that discuss web accessibility and can be added to this article, share it in the comment section below. I will add it to the article.