A11y is an abbreviation for “accessibility.” This is a numeronym, where the “11” stands for the 11 letters between the first letter “a” and the last letter “y.” 

This term is commonly used in web development to mean "enabling as many people as possible to use websites, even when those people's abilities are limited in some way."





A numeronym is a number-based word.

Numeronyms date back to the 1980's in an effort to shorten lengthy words. The first use of a numeronym is credited to Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), a former computer company purchased in the 1990's by Compaq, where an admin utilized this technique to shorten employee Jan Scherpenhuizen's long last name for an email account with the handle "s12n".

Though initially a joke, it took flight and by 1985 the company was using the method for the word "internationalization" (i18n).

Numeronyms don't always take the same format. K9 is a Numeronym for canine. 101 is typically used for an introductory course.



It is preferred that when it is possible, you use the full word "accessibility" instead of "a11y".  If you place "a11y" in a presentation, it is best you speak the whole word over "a-eleven-y" or "a-one-one-y" or "ally".