Just a quick brainstorm when checking a design wireframe for potential accessibility issues, finding low level problems that may be solved way earlier than we may think. Maybe even before designer became a designer and before developer became a developer?
A post from fellow accessibility specialist made me think about why people think accessibility is difficult. I think that awareness, knowledge, ethics, involvement and responsibility can help a lot.
When developers discover ARIA and try to misuse or overuse it we get more problems than we may have before. It’s not just that, even if they do everything correctly we risk to have an inaccessible product due to missing support of theoretically great ARIA.
After giving a talk about accessibility and discussing the lack of awareness I decided to reflect on some thoughts in this post.
Are we ready to use native HTML dialogs in production? As often – it depends. Please don’t take it against me but it really depends. Some users are still forced to use older browsers, polyfills seem to be problematic, so most often we are still stucked with ARIA based dialogs. For now.
Accessibility tree in browser and screen-reader’s speech logs are extremely valuable tools when we want to check how HTML, CSS and ARIA translate to assistive technologies like screen-readers, no doubt about that. But please make sure to go through to the end – do listen to your screen-readers and in different combinations with browsers. As sometimes that’s the only way to find out about real problems.
In this blog post I go into details behind automatic accessibility testing and how I don’t really trust any accessibility scores such tools provide.
It all drills down to inability of automatic tools to pass WCAG success criteria and limited ability of them to fail some. Manual testing is the only real way to really know about state of accessibility.
Before you order your accessibility audit you should read this article of mine. I try to be objective and constructive and present the good and the bad, the strengths and the weaknesses of accessibility audits.
The journey from content creator to end user is quite long. At least in terms of different software that needs to deliver. And as we all know – software has bugs. And sometimes even so called features that can actually be called bugs as well. So please test and if we find a problem – report it, so that we improve the accessibility one step at a time.
I had to fail an Android app in a recent WCAG audit because it’s expand/collapse components didn’t have the semantics. On the review I got asked about possible solutions and here you go – hope it will help somebody make accordions on Android more accessible.
We all reach out to third party solutions and we like it when they claim they are accessible. But please don’t just believe them – check that they really are conforming. And when they update – check again.
Some improvements can be detected and I also added some thoughts of mine about the parts that are not very obvious. Interestingly – e-commerce is almost worst – and that really is a surprise when we think about how much do they invest into ads and SEO, just to get some new users.
Some accessibility issues originate in code. And when design is being recreated with code it may seem to work but when thinking about accessibility we may notice that it only works for some users and not for others. I’ve decided to describe some common accessibility fails that are on developers.