Angular and Accessibility: Building Inclusive Apps

In this tutorial, we will explore how to build inclusive apps using Angular, with a focus on accessibility. We will discuss the importance of accessibility in apps, understand WCAG guidelines, learn about ARIA roles and attributes, and explore techniques to build accessible components. We will also cover testing and auditing for accessibility, common accessibility pitfalls, and ways to improve the user experience.

angular accessibility building inclusive apps


What is Angular?

Angular is a popular framework for building web applications, developed and maintained by Google. It allows developers to build dynamic and responsive applications using TypeScript, a statically typed superset of JavaScript. Angular follows the component-based architecture, where each component represents a specific part of the application.

Importance of Accessibility in Apps

Accessibility is the practice of designing and developing apps that can be used by people with disabilities. It ensures that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can access and use the app effectively. By making our apps accessible, we can provide equal access and an inclusive experience to all users.

Understanding Accessibility

Accessibility involves considering various aspects, such as keyboard navigation, focus management, color contrast, and screen reader support. It is essential to follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which provide a set of standards for creating accessible web content.

WCAG Guidelines

WCAG guidelines define the requirements for making web content accessible. It covers various aspects, including perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust content. To ensure our Angular app is accessible, we need to follow these guidelines.

ARIA Roles and Attributes

ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) roles and attributes are used to enhance the accessibility of web content. They provide additional information to assistive technologies, such as screen readers, in understanding the structure and functionality of the app. We can use ARIA roles and attributes in our Angular components to improve accessibility.

Building Accessible Components

To build accessible components in Angular, we need to consider several factors. One of the essential aspects is to use semantic HTML, which provides meaning and structure to the content. We also need to ensure keyboard navigation, proper focus management, sufficient color contrast, and support for screen readers.

Semantic HTML

Semantic HTML refers to using HTML elements that convey the correct meaning and structure of the content. It helps assistive technologies in understanding the app's structure and improves accessibility. Let's take a look at an example of using semantic HTML in an Angular component:

<div role="button" tabindex="0" (keydown.enter)="onButtonClick()" (click)="onButtonClick()">
  Click Me

In the above code snippet, we use the <div> element with the role attribute set to "button" to indicate that it behaves like a button. We also set the tabindex attribute to "0" to make it focusable via keyboard navigation. The (keydown.enter) and (click) event bindings ensure that the button can be triggered using both keyboard and mouse interactions.

Keyboard Navigation

Keyboard navigation is crucial for users who rely on keyboards or other input devices instead of a mouse. It allows them to navigate through the app's interface and interact with the components. To enable keyboard navigation in Angular components, we need to handle keyboard events and provide appropriate focus management.

<button (keydown.enter)="onButtonClick()" (click)="onButtonClick()">Click Me</button>

In the above code snippet, we bind the (keydown.enter) event to the onButtonClick() method, which handles the button click event when the enter key is pressed. This ensures that users can trigger the button using the keyboard.

Focus Management

Proper focus management is essential for users who navigate through the app using the keyboard. It ensures that the focus is set and moved correctly when interacting with different components. In Angular, we can use the FocusMonitor service to manage focus programmatically.

import { FocusMonitor } from '@angular/cdk/a11y';

constructor(private focusMonitor: FocusMonitor) {}

ngOnInit() {
  const element = document.getElementById('myElement');
  this.focusMonitor.monitor(element).subscribe((origin) => {
    // Handle focus changes

ngOnDestroy() {

In the above code snippet, we import the FocusMonitor service from @angular/cdk/a11y and inject it into our component. We then use the monitor() method to monitor focus changes on the specified element (myElement). The subscribe() method allows us to handle focus changes and perform actions accordingly. Finally, in the ngOnDestroy() method, we stop monitoring focus changes for the element.

Color Contrast

Sufficient color contrast is essential for users with visual impairments to perceive and read the content. It ensures that text and other important elements stand out and are easily readable. In Angular, we can use the ngClass directive to dynamically apply CSS classes based on the color contrast requirements.

<p [ngClass]="{'high-contrast': isHighContrastMode()}">Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet</p>

In the above code snippet, we use the [ngClass] directive to conditionally apply the CSS class high-contrast to the <p> element. The isHighContrastMode() method returns a boolean value based on the current user settings or preferences. The CSS class can then define the required color contrast for the text.

Screen Reader Support

Screen readers are assistive technologies that read out the content of the app for users with visual impairments. To ensure screen reader support in Angular, we need to provide meaningful and descriptive text for components, such as buttons, links, and form elements. We can use the aria-label attribute or provide descriptive text within the component.

<button aria-label="Submit Form">Submit</button>

In the above code snippet, we use the aria-label attribute to provide a descriptive label for the submit button. This label will be read out by screen readers, allowing users to understand the purpose of the button.

Testing and Auditing

Testing and auditing our Angular app for accessibility is crucial to ensure it meets the required standards. We can perform both automated and manual testing, as well as use auditing tools to identify accessibility issues.

Automated Testing

Automated testing involves using tools or frameworks to automatically test our app for accessibility. These tools can simulate user interactions and check for common accessibility issues. One such tool is cypress-audit, which integrates with Cypress to perform accessibility audits.

// Install cypress-audit
npm install --save-dev cypress-audit

// In cypress/plugins/index.js
const { setupCypressAudit } = require('cypress-audit');

module.exports = (on, config) => {
  setupCypressAudit(on, config);
  return config;

// In a Cypress test
describe('Accessibility', () => {
  it('should pass accessibility audit', () => {

In the above code snippet, we install cypress-audit and set it up in the cypress/plugins/index.js file. We then import and use the checkA11y() command in a Cypress test to perform the accessibility audit.

Manual Testing

Manual testing involves manually interacting with the app and checking for accessibility issues. It allows us to identify any issues that automated testing might miss. During manual testing, we should focus on keyboard navigation, screen reader support, color contrast, and overall usability.

Auditing Tools

Auditing tools can help identify accessibility issues in our Angular app. These tools analyze the app's code and provide recommendations for improving accessibility. Some popular auditing tools for web accessibility include Lighthouse and Axe.

Common Accessibility Pitfalls

There are several common accessibility pitfalls that we need to be aware of when developing Angular apps. By understanding these pitfalls, we can avoid them and ensure our app is accessible to all users.

Missing Alt Text

Missing alt text for images is a common accessibility issue. Alt text provides a textual description of the image for users who cannot see the image. In Angular, we can use the alt attribute to provide alt text for images.

<img src="example.jpg" alt="Example Image">

In the above code snippet, we use the alt attribute to provide the alt text "Example Image" for the image.

Inaccessible Forms

Forms that are not properly designed or labeled can be challenging for users with disabilities to understand and interact with. To make forms accessible in Angular, we need to use appropriate labels, provide error messages, and ensure proper focus management.

<label for="name">Name:</label>
<input type="text" id="name" required>

<p *ngIf="name.invalid && (name.dirty || name.touched)" class="error-message">
  Please enter a valid name.

In the above code snippet, we use the <label> element with the for attribute to associate it with the input field. This allows screen readers to correctly identify the label for the input field. We also use Angular's template syntax to show an error message when the name field is invalid.

Lack of Keyboard Support

Lack of keyboard support can make an app inaccessible to users who rely on keyboard navigation. It is essential to ensure that all interactive elements, such as buttons and links, can be accessed and triggered using the keyboard.

Improper Heading Structure

Proper heading structure is crucial for users who rely on screen readers to navigate through the app's content. Headings provide structure and context to the content. In Angular, we can use the <h1> to <h6> elements to create a logical heading hierarchy.

<h1>Main Heading</h1>

In the above code snippet, we use the <h1> and <h2> elements to create a heading hierarchy. This allows screen readers to understand the relationship between the headings.

Unintuitive Navigation

Unintuitive navigation can make it difficult for users to find and navigate through the app's content. It is essential to provide clear and consistent navigation options, such as menus and breadcrumbs, to help users understand and navigate the app effectively.

Improving User Experience

Improving the user experience goes hand in hand with accessibility. By considering user feedback, enhancing readability, and handling errors gracefully, we can create a more inclusive and user-friendly app.

Providing Feedback

Providing feedback to users is essential to ensure they understand the app's state and any actions they perform. We can use visual cues, such as success messages or error messages, to indicate the outcome of user actions. We should also provide alternative text or descriptions for non-visual feedback, such as audio or video content.

Enhancing Readability

Enhancing readability involves making the content of the app easy to read and understand. We can achieve this by using appropriate font sizes, line spacing, and color contrast. It is also important to provide clear and concise instructions or labels for interactive elements.

Handling Errors Gracefully

Handling errors gracefully is crucial for providing a positive user experience. We should clearly communicate any errors or validation issues to the user and provide suggestions for resolving them. It is also important to ensure that error messages are accessible to users with disabilities.


In this tutorial, we explored how to build inclusive apps using Angular and improve accessibility. We discussed the importance of accessibility in apps, understood WCAG guidelines, and learned about ARIA roles and attributes. We explored techniques to build accessible components, such as using semantic HTML, enabling keyboard navigation, managing focus, ensuring color contrast, and supporting screen readers. We also covered testing and auditing for accessibility, common accessibility pitfalls, and ways to improve the user experience. By following these guidelines and best practices, we can create apps that are accessible to all users, regardless of their abilities.