I'm considering using the Foundation framework for a responsive design for two of my current projects, but I would like to know this: is Foundation designed to adhere to accessibility standards? If not, what other framework(s) could I use?

Please feel free to move this to the web development Stack Exchange (or any other) if it is more appropriate there. I figured I'd ask it here since this question is related to a UX project I am currently working on and there are questions here about responsive design and accessibility.

  • This is a recommendation for (1) clarifying the question, and (2) getting an answer. First, please be more specific about 'adhere to accessibility standards'. The standards within section 508 cover many aspects of visual display, auditory display, and interaction design. As such, there are levels of compliance with 508. It would help to know which parts of 508 or which parts of Foundation are relevant in your situation. Second, ask Foundation directly. Their support page is here: foundation.zurb.com/docs/support.php Their FAQ does not mention accessibility. Oct 25, 2012 at 17:27

2 Answers 2


I'm currently working on a Large accessibility sensitive project using bootstrap, which is a similar framework.

In general there were not to many issues with using the framework. There are a few things you should check though.

Semantic mark up. For example Bootstrap uses the i tag for icons. We rewrote the icons styles to use background images on other elements using pseudo elements.

It seems Foundation have worked through this problem: http://www.zurb.com/article/1047/bigger-stronger-new-accessible-foundation

Js reliance. For example Foundation shows hidden content when the tab is selected using javascript. Dependence on JS may well fail your accessibility requirements. You may need to alter the code to display elements by default and hide if JS present. Use Modernizer to control that. There may be other JS dependency issues with zurb you will have to alter.

A user on github identified some issues with zurb .

These could be worth checking. zurb by default doesn't use aria codes. Error messages are indicated with color.

All these things are the sort of issues you would have to work through without a framework. The framework isn't blocking you from achieving accessibility compliance - but it isn't all done for you.


Yes - nothing in Foundation will prevent you meeting 508 (or whatever) accessibility standards.

No - you can still produce inaccessible sites using Foundation.

Basically - this question is a category error ;-) Framework choice orthogonal to accessibility. It's how you design and build the site using the Framework.

Accessibility is a design issue. Not a framework issue.

  • 1
    true, though there are a lot of frameworks that can make building accessible sites a chore.
    – DA01
    Oct 25, 2012 at 23:56

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