Tags: accessibility

The Tink Tank » Understanding screen reader interaction modes

Léonie gives a great, clear description of how screen readers switch modes as they traverse the DOM snapshot.

Notes on notes (of smart people) about web components

Steve Faulkner responds to Alex’s response to my post about Web Components.

Steve shares my concerns …but he still refers to my post as “piffle”.

I can’t win.

Improving accessibility on GOV.UK search | Technology at GDS

Alice Bartlett shares her experience of getting aria-live regions to work in a meaningful way.

Practical ARIA Examples

Heydon Pickering put together a great collection of accessible self-contained interface patterns that demonstrate smart use of ARIA.

Bruce Lawson’s personal site  : Notes on accessibility of Web Components

Bruce’s thoughts on ensuring accessibility in Web Components. He thinks that the vocabulary of ARIA is up to the job, so that’s good enough for me.

Section for peer-reviewed Custom Elements · Issue

Some sensible thoughts from Addy on how Web Components might be peer-reviewed.

Aerotwist - Web Components and the Three Unsexy Pillars

A healthy dose of scepticism about Web Components, looking at them through the lenses of accessibility, security, and performance.

I share some of this concern: Web Components might look like handy ready-made out-of-the-box solutions, but the truth is that web developers have to do much more of the hard graft that was traditionally left to the browser.

The Pastry Box Project, Scott Jehl, Friday, 7 March 2014

Scott writes an absolutely spot-on skewering of the idea that progressive enhancement means you’re going to spend your time catering to older browsers. The opposite is true.

Progressive Enhancement frees us to focus on the costs of building features for modern browsers, without worrying much about leaving anyone out. With a strongly qualified codebase, older browser support comes nearly for free.

Line Mode on Parallel Transport

A love letter to HTML, prompted by the line-mode browser hack event at CERN.

Progressive Enhancement: It’s About the Content

A cogent definition and spirited defence of progressive enhancement:

Progressive Enhancement is an extension of our shared values on the web and goes to the root of the web. I believe—and hope you agree—that the web is for everybody and should be accessible regardless of the device a user brings to the party.

The Pastry Box Project | 7 August 2013, baked by Karen McGrane

Preach it, Karen!

“Why would someone ever want to do that?” is the wrong question. It doesn’t matter why they want to do it. The fact is that people do. The right question, the one that we all should be asking, is “how can we make a better experience for them?”

Links are not buttons. Neither are DIVs and SPANs by Karl Groves

Yes! THIS!

Being Practical - TimKadlec.com

Yet another timely reminder from Tim, prompted by the naysayers commenting on his previous excellent post on progressive enhancement, universal access, and the nature of the web.

Crippling the web - TimKadlec.com

A great call-to-arms from Tim, simply asking that we create websites that take advantage of the amazing universality of the web:

The web has the power to go anywhere—any network, any device, any browser. Why not take advantage of that?

Inevitably there is pushback in the comments from developers still in the “denial” stage of coming to terms with what the web is.

Auto-Forwarding Carousels, Accordions Annoy Users

Carousels are shit. Auto-animating carousels are really shit. Now proven with science!

Advancements in the accessibility of Facebook on Marco’s accessibility blog

It’s great to see the changes that Facebook’s four-person accessibility team have managed to push through.

Inclusive Design: Where Accessibility Meets Usability

I’ll be speaking at this event in London on Thursday. It would be lovely if you could come along. It’s free!

CRAPCHA: Completely Ridiculous And Phony Captcha that Hassles for Amusement

These seem just about as reasonable as any other CAPTCHA.

The Accessibility Project

This is a great initiative. I’m going to learn a lot from it. I hope that I might even be able to contribute to it sometime.

Be proud to be a web developer — yatil. Eric Eggert about web development

An ever-timely call-to-arms from Eric:

Sir Tim Berners-Lee envisioned the web as open and accessible for everyone, no matter where they comes from, what speed their connection is, how capable their browsers are or how good their eyes or hands or both work. I feel proud every day to make that vision reality, and it is the job of web developers to make it a reality.

He’s right. We have tremendous power and privilege, and correspondingly tremendous responsibility.

Designing for different devices | Government Digital Service

A behind-the-scenes look at how Gov.uk is handling mobile devices. Spoiler: it’s responsive.

I found this particularly interesting:

When considering the extra requirements users of different devices have we found a lot in common with work already done on accessibility.

Accessibility – what is it good for? | Marco’s accessibility blog

A worrying look at how modern web developers approach accessibility. In short, they don’t.

Easy Fixes to Common Accessibility Problems | Yahoo! Accessibility Library

The low-hanging fruit of accessibility fixes; it’s worth bearing these in mind.

My case for the obsoletion of longdesc (Was: 48-Hour Consensus Call: InstateLongdesc CP Update) from James Craig on 2012-09-15 (public-html-a11y@w3.org from September 2012)

James Craig is a mensch. This is how you give feedback to a working group.

Why mobile Web accessibility matters - best practices to make your mobile site accessible | mobiForge

There’s some great practical advice for building accessible mobile web apps here.

Bruce Lawson’s personal site  : Scooby Doo and the proposed HTML5 element

Bruce’s thoughts on the proposed inclusion of a “content” or “maincontent” element in HTML5.

Personally, I don’t think there’s much point in adding a new element when there’s an existing attribute (role=”main”) that does exactly the same thing.

Also, I don’t see much point in adding an element that can only be used once and only once in a document. However, if a “content” or “maincontent” element could be used inside any sectioning content (section, article, nav, aside), then I could see it being far more useful.

The Blind Shooting The Blind ∵ Stephen van Egmond’s weblog

If you make inaccessible iOS apps, you really only have yourself to blame.

There are also some handy tips here for getting to know VoiceOver.

We are Colorblind

A really nice site dedicated entirely to making the web a better place for the colourblind.

Descriptive Camera

Oh, this is just wonderful: a camera that outputs a text description instead of an image (complete with instructions on how to build one yourself). I love it!

This time, more than any other time

A cautionary tale from Stuart. We, the makers of modern technology, are letting people down. Badly.

We’re in this to help users, remember: not just the ones who think as we do, but the ones who rely on us to build things for them because they don’t know what they’re doing. If your response is honestly “well, he should have spent more on a phone to get something better”, then I’m exceedingly disillusioned by you.

Progressive enhancement is a barrier to progress | Opinion | .net magazine

I can’t remember the last time I read something I disagreed with so fundamentally. This sums up the tone of the article:

Accessibility is not a right; it’s a feature.

I do not agree. I do not agree at all.

(Also, the pre-emtive labelling of anyone who may disagree with your point of view as defending a “sacred cow” is as tired and misguided as labelling anyone who disagrees with your viewpoint as a “fanboy”.)

Time to Kill Off Captchas: Scientific American

Yes, yes, yes! This article does an excellent job of explaining what Captchas are attempting to do and why, therefore, they are so utterly shit.

Confusion over HTML5 & WAI-ARIA | Karl Groves

This helps to clarify the difference between native semantics and ARIA additions.

That “JavaScript not available” case | Christian Heilmann

A great reminder from Christian that making JavaScript a requirement for using a website just doesn’t make much sense.

HTML5 semantics and accessibility | The Paciello Group Blog

This is a great response to my recent post about semantics in HTML. Steve explores the accessibility implications. I heartily concur with his rallying cry at the end:

Get involved!

Understand The Web · Ben Ward

Given some recent hand-wringing about the web as a “platform,” it seems appropriate to revisit this superb article from Ben. The specifics of the companies and technologies may have changed in the past year but the fundamental point remains the same:

Everything about web architecture; HTTP, HTML, CSS, is designed to serve and render content, but most importantly the web is formed where all of that content is linked together. That is what makes it amazing, and that is what defines it. This purpose and killer application of the web is not even comparable to the application frameworks of any particular operating system.

Why are you fighting me? - Blog | Andy Hume

Andy responds to Joe Hewitt’s recent despondent posts about the web. I tend to agree with Andy: I think comparing the web to other “platforms” is missing the point of what the web is.

See also: http://benward.me/blog/understand-the-web

The Next 6 Billion | Web Directions

John reinforces the importance of universal access above the desire to build only for the newest shiniest devices:

Universality is a founding principle of the web. It is the manifesto the web has been built on, and I believe one of the key drivers of the almost unimaginable success of the web over these last two decades. We ignore that at the web’s peril.

Bruce Lawson’s personal site  : HTML5, hollow demos and forgetting the basics

A great reminder from Bruce that we need to remember to use cutting-edge web technology responsibly.

The Tink Tank » Marking up the current page with HTML5 links

Leonie points to a change in the semantics of the a element in HTML5 that could be very handy for accessible navigation.

Contrast Rebellion - to hell with low-contrast fonts!

A cute website that’s a call-to-arms against low-contrast text on the web.

Accessibility and HTML5 Block Links — Simply Accessible

Derek runs some tests on how screenreaders behave when block-level elements are wrapped in links, which is now legal in HTML5.

Accessibility. You’re doing it wrong. | nicepaul.com

Ignoring the awful misleading title, this is a really good post from Paul on his personal experiences dealing with accessibility on one or two projects.

danwebb.net - It’s About The Hashbangs

A superb post by Dan on the bigger picture of what’s wrong with hashbang URLs. Well written and well reasoned.

HTML5 Accessibility Chops: the placeholder attribute | The Paciello Group Blog

A nice succinct description of the placeholder attribute, with an emphasis on accessibility.

Open Planets Foundation | digital, forever

This consortium of institutions and universities came together “to provide practical solutions and expertise in digital preservation.”

PLANETS stands for Preservation and Long-term Access through Networked Services.

ongoing by Tim Bray · Broken Links

Tim Bray calmly explains why hash-bang URLs are a very bad idea.

This is what we call “tight coupling” and I thought that anyone with a Computer Science degree ought to have been taught to avoid it.

accessifyhtml5.js at master from yatil’s accessifyhtml5.js - GitHub

A great little jQuery script to automatically assign ARIA roles to HTML5 elements with the corresponding semantics.

There is no Mobile Web | The Haystack.

Steven nails exactly why I’m so excited about the increasing diversity of devices accessing the web; not so that we can build more silos, but so that we can sure our content is robust enough for the multitude of different devices:

To be honest, I can think of a few, but not many use cases of web sites or apps which are or should be exclusively mobile. It seems like the Mobile Web allows us to revisit all of the talk of inclusion, progressive enhancement and accessibility from years ago.

pixeldiva - Beautiful Design for Everyone

The notes and slides from the talk Ann gave at the London Web Standards meetup in May.

Addressing accessibility | Fix the Web

It'll be interesting to see how this service works out: people can report accessibility problems with any website, and other people can volunteer to help fix the issues.

HTML5 accessibility

A handy table of new HTML5 elements and whether or not they are exposed to assistive technology.

Accessibility video tutorial - learn Accessibility // Think Vitamin Membership

Think Vitamin have been their accessibility material available for free.

My First Week with the iPhoneBehind the Curtain | Behind the Curtain

An emotionally affecting endorsement of the accessibility features on the iPhone.

Yahoo! Accessibility

The website of the Yahoo accessibility team.

Accessibility London Unconference

A one-day event in London in September on the topic of accessibility, with a focus on motor impairment.

The Paciello Group Blog » When will Google Chrome be accessible?

Steve Faulkner has created a petition to let Google know what screenreader users think of Chrome's appalling lack of basic accessibility hooks.

Accessible Text CAPTCHAs: 157,500,799 logic questions

An API for Turing test questions.

Transcription Services | uiAccess

A list of services you can use to get your podcast transcribed.

HTML5, ARIA Roles, and Screen Readers in May 2010 — Research — Accessible Culture

Test results for screen readers navigating content that uses new HTML5 elements and ARIA roles.

WAI-ARIA Schemata

There is a doctype for HTML4 + ARIA but "This DTD is made available only as a bridging solution for applications requiring DTD validation but not using HTML 5."

ChangeProposals/KeepNewElements - HTML WG Wiki

An excellently written zero-edit change proposal from Edward O'Connor and others, refuting issues raised by Shelley Powers (I offered to help with this change proposal but I never followed through).

Bruce Lawson’s personal site : HTML5 details element, built-in and bolt-on accessibility

An excellent piece by Bruce on why the details element needs to be in HTML5.

BBC - My Web My Way - Home

A handy accessibility resource from Auntie Beeb.

PF/XTech/HTML5 - ESW Wiki

Your one-stop shop for ongoing accessibility work related to HTML5.

WebAIM: Screen Reader User Survey Results

The results of the second screen reader survey from WebAIM are, once again, required reading.

The Paciello Group Blog » Google Chrome frame - accessibility black hole

Using Google Chrome Frame in IE will give users of assistive technology the same shitty to non-existent experience they would get in the actual Google Chrome browser.

We are Colorblind » Patterns for the Color Blind

A pattern library that considers colour blindness.

My first experience using an accessible touch screen device « Marco’s accessibility blog

A hands-on account of the new accessibility features in the iPhone. Sounds like a great experience.

Read Regular / Introduction

A forthcoming typeface designed specifically to help people with dyslexia read and write more effectively.

HTML 5–What I’m Watching at Wendy Chisholm

Wendy gives some commentary from her ringside seat at the theatre of HTML5.

An essay on W3C's design principles - Contents

Bert Bos's 2000 Treatise (published in 2003) is a must-read for anyone involved in developing any kind of format. "This essay tries to make explicit what the developers in the various W3C working groups mean when they invoke words like efficiency, maintainability, accessibility, extensibility, learnability, simplicity, longevity, and other long words ending in -y."

USA, Canada and the EU attempt to kill treaty to protect blind people's access to written material - Boing Boing

I feel a rant coming on...

WebAIM: Screen Reader Survey Results

This list of screenreader survey results is required reading. Conclusion: "there is no typical screen reader user."

northtemple - Accessibility to the Face

An excellent rumination on the meaning of accessibility, prompted by real world experiences.

When is the right time for accessibility? » box of chocolates

Prompted by the Bespin fuss, Derek shares his thoughts on *when* accessibility should be integrated into products.

Forget the mobile web: One site should work for all - at ZDNet.co.uk

Great article by Bruce defending the principle of One Web.

as days pass by, by Stuart Langridge — A WAI-ARIA “stylesheet”

Stuart has an interesting take on ARAI attributes. Why can't they be set declaratively in an external file in the same way as we set styles?

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Click | Stevie Wonder interview

Stevie Wonder talks about assistive technology. I think this finally proves that yes, accessibility *is* sexy!

Juicy Studio: Requiring the alt Attribute in HTML5

Gez lays out the case for and against keeping the alt attribute mandatory in HTML5. If he's missed anything, add a comment.

Using WAI ARIA Landmark Roles - The Paciello Group Blog

A guide to using ARIA roles from the mighty Steve Faulkner.

Accessibility Tips

A collection of tips, guidance, advice and practical suggestions in developing accessible websites

A List Apart: Articles: This is How the Web Gets Regulated

Joe has written a rousing call to arms on the state of online captioning. It's a lengthy article but well worth reading.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0

WCAG 2.0 has just entered proposed recommendation status. What a long strange trip it's been.

northtemple - JavaScript and screen readers

An in-depth look at the intersection of JavaScript and screen readers, concentrating on events in particular.

QuirksBlog: Slides from acessible Ajax workshop at Fundamentos Web

Download a PDF of PPK's slides from his JavaScript workshop at Fundamentos Web. There's some good advice contained therein.

Apple - Accessibility

Apple have gathered all their resources about accessibility into one handy site. I sense the work of James Craig.

Call for Review: Updated WAI-ARIA Specification from Shawn Henry on 2008-08-06 (w3c-wai-ig@w3.org from July to September 2008)

Shawn at the W3C wants feedback on the ARIA working draft, particularly "feedback on host language embedding, that is, how ARIA is implemented in HTML, XHTML, SVG, and other host languages." If you don't chime in now, don't bitch later.

Introduction to WAI ARIA - Opera Developer Community

A good overview of ARIA from the mighty Gez Lemon. There seems to be quite a bit of overlap with some HTML5 ideas here.

A Whole Lotta Nothing – Apple’s Blind Side

Sometimes Apple gets it wrong and Microsoft gets it right. That's certainly the case for users with low-vision.

Scripting Enabled

Christian is using the prize money he won at Mashed to put on an event in London in September devoted to "ethical hacking": creating mashups to make social networks more accessible.

The day the music died [dive into mark]

Excellent explanation of DRM by Mark Pilgrim, prompted by MSN Music's gunshot to the head.

Update on WebKit accessibility support (Re: WebKit release cycle and dep

The last piece is falling into place. IE8 has ARIA support, Mozilla has ARIA support ...and now WebKit is getting there. Excellent!

Stop using Ajax! - Opera Developer Community

Ignore the attention-grabbing headline. Brothercake is something more nuanced here (and he's backing it up with examples).

bn14aj - Google Maps

There is an undocumented feature in Google Maps: add "&output=html" to the URL to get the accessible, non-Ajax version.

Captioning Sucks!

Joe's latest project is deliberately garish.

ScreenReader.net: freeware freedom for blind and Visually impaired people

A free screen reader. If this turns out to be any good, it could be a game-changer: a long overdue kick in the behind for Freedom Scientific.

Exploring Methods of Accessing Virtual Worlds - AccessWorld® - March 2008

This is pretty freakin' awesome: an accessible interface onto Second Life.

AJAX and Screen Readers - Content Access Issues - The Paciello Group Blog

Steve Faulkner gives a rundown of the current state of play between screen readers and Ajax.

Empty Links and Screen Readers » Yahoo! User Interface Blog

Excellent research into how screen readers respond to empty links (i.e. A elements with no text between the opening and closing tags).