Great advice on keeping your hyperlinks accessible.
Thursday, December 7th, 2017
Thursday, October 19th, 2017
Great advice for writing usable
alt attributes. This gem seems obvious in hindsight but I hadn’t considered it before:
End the alt-text with a period. This will make screen readers pause a bit after the last word in the alt-text, which creates a more pleasant reading experience for the user.
Tuesday, August 29th, 2017
Tuukka Ojala is a programmer working on the web. He’s also blind. Here are the tools of his trade.
Monday, November 14th, 2016
The Government Digital Service have published the results of their assistive technology survey, which makes a nice companion piece to Heydon’s survey. It’s worth noting that the most common assistive technology isn’t screen readers; it’s screen magnifiers. See also this Guardian article on the prevalence of partial blindness:
Of all those registered blind or partially sighted, 93% retain some useful vision – often enough to read a book or watch a film. But this can lead to misunderstanding and confusion
Sunday, November 6th, 2016
Ire rounds up a bunch of tools you can use to test accessibility, from dev tools to Tenon.
Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
I wrote a while back about how I switched from using a button to using a link for progressive disclosure patterns. That looks like it was a good move—if I use a button, I’d need to use
aria-controls and, as Heydon outlines here, the screen reader support is pants.
Thursday, May 5th, 2016
Hidden little details that make a big difference for screen readers.
A website is only as beautiful as the underlying markup.
Friday, January 15th, 2016
It’s tempting to think of testing with screen-readers as being like testing with browsers. With browser testing, you’re checking to see how a particular piece of software deals with the code you’re throwing at it. A screen reader is a piece of software too, so it makes sense to approach it the same way, right?
I don’t think so. I think it’s really important that if someone is going to test your site with a screen reader, it should be someone who uses a screen reader every day.
Think of it this way: you wouldn’t want a designer or developer to do usability testing by testing the design or code on themselves. That wouldn’t give you any useful data. They’re already familiar with what problems the design is supposed to be solving, and how the interface works. That’s why you need to do usability testing with someone from outside, someone who wasn’t involved in the design or development process.
It’s no different when it comes to users of assistive technology. You’re not trying to test their technology; you’re trying to test how well the thing you’re building works for the person using the technology.
Don’t think of screen-reader testing as a form of browser testing; think of it as a form of usability testing.
Saturday, November 7th, 2015
This is such an incredibly useful resource by Steve and Léonie: documenting how multiple screen readers handle each and every element in HTML.
It’s a work in progress, but it’s definitely one to remember the next time you’re thinking “I wonder how screen readers treat this markup…”
Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
Léonie gives a great, clear description of how screen readers switch modes as they traverse the DOM snapshot.
Monday, June 3rd, 2013
It’s great to see the changes that Facebook’s four-person accessibility team have managed to push through.
Monday, November 14th, 2011
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:
Friday, June 17th, 2011
Derek runs some tests on how screenreaders behave when block-level elements are wrapped in links, which is now legal in HTML5.
Thursday, May 6th, 2010
Test results for screen readers navigating content that uses new HTML5 elements and ARIA roles.
Friday, October 30th, 2009
The results of the second screen reader survey from WebAIM are, once again, required reading.
Sunday, March 29th, 2009
This list of screenreader survey results is required reading. Conclusion: "there is no typical screen reader user."
Thursday, January 15th, 2009
A guide to using ARIA roles from the mighty Steve Faulkner.
Friday, October 31st, 2008
Sunday, February 10th, 2008
Steve Faulkner gives a rundown of the current state of play between screen readers and Ajax.
Thursday, January 24th, 2008
Excellent research into how screen readers respond to empty links (i.e. A elements with no text between the opening and closing tags).