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Building Accessible React Applications: Best Practices for Senior Engineers

Asim Zaidi
6 min readFeb 24

Accessibility is one of the most critical aspects of web development today. As developers, we have a responsibility to ensure that all users, regardless of their physical abilities, can access and use the web. React, one of the most popular front-end frameworks, has revolutionized web development, but it has also brought new accessibility challenges. Therefore, it’s essential for senior engineers to understand how to build accessible React applications. In this advanced article, we’ll discuss the latest best practices for building accessible React applications. We’ll cover topics such as accessible forms, custom components, focus management, internationalization, and much more.

Using Accessibility Tools

Using accessibility tools is the first step in building accessible React applications. These tools help identify accessibility issues and provide solutions. React Accessibility Audit and Accessibility Insights for Web are two useful tools that help scan your React application and provide a detailed report of any accessibility issues they find. Besides, Axe, Pa11y, and other automated testing tools can identify accessibility issues that you may have missed. With these tools, you can quickly locate and resolve any accessibility issues in your React application.

Structuring Components

The way you structure your React components plays a significant role in their accessibility. When building accessible React components, you need to keep the following principles in mind:

  • Use Semantic HTML Elements: Semantic HTML elements such as headings, paragraphs, and lists provide structure and meaning to your content, making it easier for screen readers and other assistive technologies to interpret and navigate your content.
  • Use ARIA Attributes: Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) attributes provide additional information to assistive technologies about the purpose and function of your content. For example, you can use the aria-label attribute to provide a descriptive label for a button or link.
  • Use Keyboard Navigation: Ensure that your components can be navigated using the keyboard alone, without relying on mouse or touch…

Asim Zaidi

Building AI Hub @Apple | Prev: SSWE @Atlassian | Co-Founder | Shipping products users love | Helping people break into tech @