Simon Willison’s Weblog

21 items tagged “accessibility”

How technology helped a blind athlete run free at the New York Marathon. Fascinating piece on technology to help blind people better navigate the world—combing GPS and chest-mounted ultrasonic sonar. # 6th November 2017, 4:58 pm

Skip the title text! Nobody uses them – they don’t work on touch screens and on desktop they require that the user hovers for a while over an image, which nobody does. Also, adding a title-text makes some screen readers both read the title-text and the alt-text, which becomes redundant.

Daniel Göransson # 6th November 2017, 4:56 pm

Alt-texts: The Ultimate Guide. By Daniel Göransson, a web developer with vision impairment who uses a screen reader. This is the best, most practical guide to writing image alt text I’ve seen. Just one of the neat tips contained within: consider ending your alt text in a period, so the screen user knows to pause. # 6th November 2017, 4:54 pm

My First Week with the iPhone. A blind user describes the experience of using VoiceOver on the iPhone, including the joy of discovering the Color Identifier app which speaks the names of colours picked up by the iPhone’s camera. “ I used color cues to find my pumpkin plants, by looking for the green among the brown and stone. I spent ten minutes looking at my pumpkin plants, with their leaves of green and lemon-ginger.” # 3rd October 2010, 12:20 pm

Accessibility and Degradation in Cappuccino. Ross Boucher from 280 North responds to Drew McLellan. # 26th February 2009, 9:39 pm

The Cost of Accessibility. Drew McLellan comments on the seemingly inevitable march towards JavaScript dependent applications, and argues that JavaScript frameworks such as Cappuccino have a duty to integrate accessibility in to their core. # 25th February 2009, 10:31 pm

Accessibility Experiment. Joe Walker asks what would happen if we threw away the idea of serving the same accessible site to every user and instead tried building specific versions aimed at different disabilities. # 22nd September 2008, 9:29 am

Capital Radio’s London Guide. Worth pointing out: the search / map interface on this page is one of the best examples of progressive enhancement I’ve ever seen. Try disabling JavaScript and see what happens. It seems like most developers just can’t be bothered with this kind of attention to detail these days, which disappoints me. # 29th August 2008, 1:48 am

Microformats and accessibility: the soap opera that never ends. “Be sure to tune in next week, when we’ll drown a leading accessibility expert to see if she’s a witch.” # 29th June 2008, 8:44 am

Removing Microformats from bbc.co.uk/programmes. “Until these issues are resolved the BBC semantic markup standards have been updated to prevent the use of non-human-readable text in abbreviations.” # 23rd June 2008, 9:04 pm

google-axsjax (via) “The AxsJAX framework can inject accessibility enhancements into existing Web 2.0 applications using any of several standard Web techniques”—including bookmarklets and Greasemonkey. The enhancements conform to W3C ARIA, supported by Firefox 2.0 and later. # 14th November 2007, 5:18 pm

Why Accessibility? Because It’s Our Job! “A chef must care about health, a builder must care about safety, and we must care about accessibility.” # 16th October 2007, 10:06 am

Ignorance and inspiration. I’m pretty gobsmacked at the levels of ignorance about web accessibility out there—it’s not that hard people! I’m obviously more out of touch with mainstream developers than I thought; I was under the impression that people had generally got the message. # 15th October 2007, 10:47 pm

Google Maps, HTML version. Google’s mostly undocumented accessible version of Google Maps. Robin Christopherson demonstrated this yesterday at FOWA. # 4th October 2007, 9:31 am

The longdesc lottery. Mark Pilgrim is now writing for the WHATWG blog. Here he makes the case for replacing the longdesc attribute with a better solution, based on ten years of developer ignorance and misuse. As always with that site, check the comments for a microcosm of the larger debate. # 14th September 2007, 11:44 am

html4all. New mailing list / advocacy group focusing on accessibility issues relevant to HTML 5. This is something that the core HTML 5 group have taken a lot of criticism for, although it’s unfair to say that they don’t care about accessibility (they are however challenging a lot of sacred cows). # 14th September 2007, 11:35 am

I’ve actually been using the latest version of JAWS recently, as part of my work on HTML5. From a usability point of view it is possibly the worst software I have ever used. I’m still horrified at how bad the accessibility situation is. All this time I’ve been hearing people worried about whether or not Web pages have longdesc attributes specified or whatnot, when in fact the biggest problems facing blind users are so much more fundamental as to make image-related issues seem almost trivial in comparison.

Ian Hickson # 4th September 2007, 12:27 pm

Why the Alt Attribute May Be Omitted. “The benefit of requiring the alt attribute to be omitted, rather than simply requiring the empty value, is that it makes a clear distinction between an image that has no alternate text (such as an iconic or graphical representation of the surrounding text) and an image that is a critical part of the content, but for which not alt text is available.” # 25th August 2007, 1:11 pm

WCAG Samurai. Anonymous Samurai, headed up by Joe Clark, publish their errata for WCAG 1.0 (with two independent peer reviews). Recommended as a better alternative to WGAC 2.0. # 8th June 2007, 5:56 am

hAccessibility. The use of the abbr element in hCalendar causes screen readers to read out an incomprehensible number instead of a date. # 27th April 2007, 1:07 pm

New Dutch accessibility law. Sounds extremely forward thinking, designed by people who really understand the field. Just one problem: the guidelines are only available in Dutch! # 16th January 2007, 12:59 pm