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Accessibility: Dell Design System (DDS)

We’ve redesigned DDS version 2.0 with a specific focus on accessibility through a partnership with Dell’s Accessibility Center of Excellence (CoE).


Accessibility and DDS

Together, we’ve partnered by:

  • Ensuring that current accessibility standards and best practices inform and drive initial component requirements;
  • Incorporating feedback from accessibility professionals at every stage of the lifecycle;
  • Requiring every DDS component and pattern passes both design and engineering accessibility reviews before they’re released;
  • Capturing accessibility guidance directly within DDS component documentation.

What is accessibility?

Accessibility is the practice of creating inclusive products, services, and experiences that are usable by as many people as possible. By removing barriers that impact visual, physical, auditory, and cognitive disabilities or impairments, DDS can help create better digital experiences for all.

Disabilities and impairments can be permanent, situational, or temporary. Various limitations mean that a piece of critical information should be delivered in alternate ways, such as text, audio, and visual formats. For example:

  • Blindness or low vision may mean that a person primarily perceives and interacts with content via a screen reader.
  • Deafness, hard of hearing, or use of a device without headphones in a noisy environment necessitates closed captioning or audio description on a video.
  • Fatigue or stress may require a graphic, short video, or simple text to prevent cognitive overload.
  • For those with fine motor disabilities unable to use a mouse, logically ordered content is necessary when using a keyboard to navigate.

Accessible design empowers all people to equally experience and interact with the world.

About the Accessibility Center of Excellence

Dell’s Accessibility CoE is committed to fostering an inclusive culture at Dell that enables accessible experiences for people of all abilities. Their mission is to educate and inspire accessibility advocates with innovative practices that build empathy and inclusion for everyone.

Accessibility standards

As per Dell’s Accessibility statement, all DDS components follow the global Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, Level AA. However, the team aims to exceed these guidelines when possible. To that end, Dell also integrates:

  • Forthcoming WCAG 2.2 updates (coming later in 2022)
  • WCAG 2.1 Level AAA guidelines, where possible
  • General accessibility best practices (specifically, those not yet required by WCAG 2.1)

Be sure to leverage guidance when designing and developing with DDS components. Relevant accessibility guidance can be found on each individual component, foundation, and pattern pages.

Resources

Accessibility Statement

Dell's commitment to digital accessibility and how to provide feedback.

Accessibility CoE

Dell's internal SharePoint site for accessibility training, consulting, and testing services.

WCAG guidance

How to meet WCAG requirements and success criteria.