denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
Denise ([staff profile] denise) wrote in [site community profile] dw_accessibility2010-10-27 05:02

Accessibility needs survey

I will be speaking this year at linux.conf.au on the topic of accessibility -- a one hour and forty-five minute short tutorial called "Beyond Alt Text: Accessibility for the 21st Century". The description of it is:

You know that your software project needs to be accessible to people with disabilities and people using assistive technology. You've tried, even -- but best practices documents are a morass of conflicting statements that leave you more confused than you were when you started, the high-level Web Content Accessibility Guidelines provided by the W3C are useful for identifying accessibility problems but not so good with giving you solutions, and you have no idea how you can make sure that your assistive technology users are receiving the same experience as conventional technology users -- especially since you don't have the thousands of dollars necessary to set up testing environments that cover the most common assistive technology use cases, and automatic accessibility checkers can only go so far in pointing out potential problems. On top of all that, you're worried that your accessibility work is being harmful instead of helpful, or wasting your effort on things that don't matter while ignoring the things that do.

The good news is, there is accessibility beyond making sure that all your images have ALT text, and there are ways for developers who don't use assistive technology to learn how to design for all use cases. This tutorial will cover "thinking accessibly": how to build your web application to be accessible from the ground up. Specific techniques will include:

* How to find and use available automated resources to evaluate how well your project conforms to accessibility guidelines, including what these tools can't tell you.

* How to use or simulate common assistive technology setups without needing to spend thousands of dollars on proprietary, closed-source programs.

* How to use navigational markup such as WAI-ARIA landmark roles to best effect for screenreaders and keyboard navigation devices.

* How to evaluate available open-source toolkits and plugins for accessibility purposes, including listings of toolkits that make accessibility a priority.

This tutorial will also include a series of universal design rules you can follow, from the small fixes you can start applying to your project right now to the big things to keep in mind when designing major features in the future. You'll leave with a better understanding of assistive technology and how to design for it, including what it's like interacting with the web with the help of assistive technology and what the biggest design irritants are. You'll also get a thorough grounding in specific, concrete principles and techniques of accessible and universal design that will benefit all your project's users.

Together, we will also evaluate example sites and make hands-on improvements, then view and experience them with as many different examples of assistive technology as possible. We will concentrate on web accessibility, but the universal design rules are broadly applicable to desktop software as well, and we'll include some desktop software-specific guidelines.

For maximum benefit, you should be comfortable with HTML and CSS, and at least passingly familiar with JavaScript. If possible, please bring a laptop with your choice of HTML editor and web browser. Accessibility exercises will be provided, but if you have a site or project you would like to use for the hands-on section, please bring all necessary files with you. If we have time, we will perform an "accessibility audit" of a project volunteered by the audience.


In order to gather as much data as possible, I'd like to ask people who interact with the internet with the help of assistive technology to take a short "survey" (okay, to answer a few questions, really) -- I know enough to know that there's no way I know everything, and the more perspectives I can get from assistive tech users, the better.

I'm particularly looking for input from:

* screenreader users (both wholly blind and low-vision users -- the contrast will be valuable!)
* voice input/navigation users
* keyboard-only navigation users
* people with accessibility concerns that don't necessarily need assistive tech (ocular migraines, seizure disorders, autistic spectrum disorders, etc) but who can benefit from accessibility work

Still, anyone who feels that they have accessibility concerns, or who feels like they benefit from accessibility improvements, is more than welcome to fill out the list of questions. The more opinions and perspectives I can present, the better.

Please leave a comment with your answers, or if you aren't comfortable discussing your answers in public, you can private message me or email me (denise AT dreamwidth dot org).



1. What assistive technology do you use at least semi-regularly to interact with the world wide web?

2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?

3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you?

4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life easier, and why are they so helpful for you?

5. If you could make every website in the world follow one accessibility rule, what would that rule be, and why?

6. What are the things you would want an able-bodied programmer to know, understand, or experience about your assistive technology and/or your accessibility needs?

7. What are some things that people do in the name of accessibility that aren't very helpful, or actively make your experience worse?

8. Is there anything I've forgotten to ask about but you think I should cover anyway?


And, here's for easy cut/paste so it's already formatted:

jumpuphigh: Pigeon with text "jumpuphigh" (Default)

[personal profile] jumpuphigh 2010-10-27 10:33 (UTC)(link)
1. What assistive technology do you use at least semi-regularly to interact with the world wide web?

-I am now using an ereader to consume the WWW. It isn't particularly useful for things where there is actual interaction needed but if I want to read a website's terms of service or other large textual blocks of information, it's pretty easy to translate a page to epub and sideload it to my reader.

2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?

-Links that are too close together or too small are really problematic for me. If I have a hand tremor right when I am trying to click a link, I may end up clicking on the wrong link or not being able to click the link itself at all. I've accidentally reported email as spam due to this issue. Plus, it is just damn annoying.

3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you?

-Captchas. Horrid, horrid, horrid. They are hard for my brain to translate into something that I can pick out on the keyboard. I usually find they are just more trouble than they are worth. Captchas=me not participating
-Links in small text. See question #2.
-Crowded pages. Again, hard for my brain to translate.
-Obnoxious colors. I don't even try to use pages where the colors bother me. It's not even worth the risk.
-Poor organization of pages. If it is hard for me to find the information that I need, I am more likely to just not use the site at all.

4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life easier, and why are they so helpful for you?

-Being able to change pages so that the colors work for me. (I'm looking at you, Dreamwidth!)
-Clear organization. Searching for information in unusual places is very mentally fatiguing.
-Links attached to pictures or large blocks of text. There are days where fine motor control just isn't on the agenda. I like still being able to participate in my online world on those days.
-Editing ability. The number of times I am thinking one word and my brain tells my fingers to type another is immense. Being able to catch that after I've submitted it and fix it is so helpful.

5. If you could make every website in the world follow one accessibility rule, what would that rule be, and why?

-Don't be an ass when someone brings up an accessibility issue.

6. What are the things you would want an able-bodied programmer to know, understand, or experience about your assistive technology and/or your accessibility needs?

-What works just fine for me on Monday may end up feeling like my own personal hell on Tuesday. A website with flexibility is always going to be more useful for me.

7. What are some things that people do in the name of accessibility that aren't very helpful, or actively make your experience worse?

-Style=light does not help me. That much white space freaks my brain out. Not being able to immediately turn that off is problematic for me. (I encounter this a lot on DW when people link to other pages and their link goes to the light version of the page.)

8. Is there anything I've forgotten to ask about but you think I should cover anyway?

-I'm sure you'll cover this but I think it is important to mention that one person's ideal accessibility needs are another person's hell.
pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

[personal profile] pne 2010-10-27 14:44 (UTC)(link)
1. What assistive technology do you use at least semi-regularly to interact with the world wide web?

I enlarge the font size. (I can read "normal size" text, but it’s a lot easier on the eyes when it’s bigger, especially when I use a high-res display where the same number of pixels are crammed into a smaller space.)

At home, I use 130% in Opera; at work (and at home on Firefox), I don’t have an easy way to tell exactly what the magnification factor is.

2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?

3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you?

1. Specify fonts that are smaller than normal. "Normal size" is already hard to read sometimes without making it even smaller.
2. Fiddle with fonts so that enlarging them doesn’t work. I don’t know how they do it, but fortunately, that’s not that common.
3. Specify a fixed width for a column of text. Some blog layouts are especially bad here. When I enlarge the text, the total width stays the same and so lines get much shorter (say, from 80 characters per line to 50, or whatever) and the page gets much longer as the text is reflowed into more but shorter lines.
4. Conversely, some sites which have columns that will “grow” with the text, but where the page layout takes up the entire width of the screen—so when you resize, you start getting a horizontal scrollbar. Fortunately, on most such sites, the actual content usually still fits on one screen-width, with the other columns being navigation, advertisements, and other “fluff”. But sometimes that doesn’t work, and then I can’t enlarge the font as much as I would like to.
5. Use designs that only accommodate text at standard size. For example, they might have a mixture of stitched-together images and text, and when you increase the font size so that it needs a line more than before, the stitched-together images “come apart”. Or where they draw little boxes around text but the box won’t get taller when the text overflows onto the next line. (Especially bad if the title of such a box overflows into the body so that it covers up the beginning of the body text.)
6. Fiddle with fonts so that enlarging the text doesn’t change the distance between the baselines of subsequent lines—so as the letters grow, they grow into the line above them rather than moving further down.

4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life easier, and why are they so helpful for you?

1. Make layouts that reflow gracefully when the font size is increased a bit. Specifically:
a) if you’re fairly narrow overall, do expand in width
b) if you’re fairly wide overall, in general, don’t expand further than one screenwidth
c) if you do overflow, do so on the entire page, not just on an inner column. (Dreamwidth Tropo-Red was bad on this—the scrollbar would be at the bottom of the contents rather than always at the bottom of the browser window, and so you’d simply lose bits off the right edge starting at the third nested comment or so, at my favourite magnification, so I had to settle for one step less. Not sure whether this has been fixed since I haven’t tried the higher magnification recently.)
d) if you use images behind or around text, see whether they work when the text (i) is a bit taller than usual, (ii) takes up one or more lines more than usual.

5. If you could make every website in the world follow one accessibility rule, what would that rule be, and why?

Don’t design for one, fixed font size. Let people who need bigger fonts increase the size without everything falling apart.

6. What are the things you would want an able-bodied programmer to know, understand, or experience about your assistive technology and/or your accessibility needs?

This is probably one of the easiest assistive technologies to try out - no software installation is needed, just try Ctrl++ or Ctrl+MousewheelUp or whatever, and see whether your layout still looks decent.

7. What are some things that people do in the name of accessibility that aren't very helpful, or actively make your experience worse?

8. Is there anything I've forgotten to ask about but you think I should cover anyway?

(no subject)

[personal profile] mercredigirl - 2010-10-29 12:11 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pne - 2010-10-29 14:29 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] deborah - 2010-10-29 14:39 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pne - 2010-10-29 15:19 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] xtina - 2010-10-29 15:58 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] codeman38 - 2010-10-29 17:26 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] archangelbeth - 2010-10-30 17:28 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] vanessagalore - 2010-10-30 16:14 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] archangelbeth - 2010-10-30 17:26 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] moondancer - 2010-11-06 23:57 (UTC) - Expand
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)

[personal profile] deborah 2010-10-27 14:59 (UTC)(link)
1. What assistive technology do you use at least semi-regularly to interact with the world wide web?

The easy answer is Dragon NaturallySpeaking. The slightly more complicated answer is that my browser use is constrained by interaction with NaturallySpeaking and the things I do, so I end up using either Opera or Mozilla Firefox with the Mouseless Browsing add-on. Together, these make most decent websites accessible.

2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?

NaturallySpeaking pretty much allows you to get any controls on a webpage that you can access via the keyboard. In general, if it requires the most to do it, I can't.

I tend to browse with JavaScript turned off by default (using the No Script add-on on Firefox, or using the built-in capabilities of Opera), because JavaScript can make pages have a lot of activity that can screw up other accessibility functionality (and also because there is no rule saying that people with disabilities can't also be privacy paranoiacs). I turn it on when I need it, on a per site basis.

3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you?

1. Reliance on Flash for any kind of content and navigation. I don't care what Adobe says, Flash is not accessible. They admit that once you are inside a flash object you can't use the keyboard to get out of it in pretty much any user agent on the market, so I'm not sure how they can say there is any accessibility. Flash should be a bonus feature, but not a requirement except where absolutely necessary. (For some reason, author websites are still really reliance on flash.)

2. Navigation that doesn't work or behaves inexplicably if JavaScript is turned off. It's really not hard to make drop-down menus that still work without JavaScript.

3. AJAX that requires a mouse. You could make really gorgeous AJAX dynamic sites that aren't reliant on the mouse. If you don't, I can't use them!

4. Any added complexity. Using computers is slow and painful for me, so if ANYTHING throws me out of my daily workflow, I usually won't bother unless I have no choice. I stopped using LiveJournal because they changed the name of the link which have had the same name for years and years, and that kind of tiny change can make a big accessibility nightmare. I don't comment on sites where the tab order doesn't match the visual layout, because it's almost impossible for me to tab to the right button. I want to throw out buzzwords but I'm not sure if they will mean anything to people who don't already understand them: Universal Design! KISS! It's like having a pile of leaves or a couple of rocks that build up in front of a curb cut. They don't look like that big a deal to somebody who can just walk over them, but it's just one more royal pain for somebody who is trying to use the curb cut to get to the street because they're using wheels to travel.

4a. Make the tab order match the tabs in the visual layout!

4b. Please don't have 5 million links on any page!

4c. Don't change the layout every day. Don't change the layout or the link names or any of the basic site navigation without a good reason, and don't do it frequently. Have areas of your site and specific pages for dynamic content, and segregate the dynamic content there.

5. JavaScript that captures the cursor MAKES ME WANT TO LIGHT THINGS ON FIRE WITH MY MIND. Unless there is exactly one thing to do on the page, don't assume you know where the cursor should be. If your JavaScript captures my cursor (I'm looking at you, worldcat), I can't use my keystroke commands that allow me to navigate a website via the keyboard. I've had to turn off all JavaScript on Google (or, more frequently, I've switched to using other search engines) because that predictive search thing they have now captures the cursor constantly and makes it impossible for me to use keystroke commands.

6. Adding access keys, making them hidden from everything except for screen readers, testing with JAWS, and then bragging that your site is accessible and ignoring all claims to the contrary. You would be horrified at how many people do this.

7. Putting useful information in content which is inaccessible without the keyboard, namely, the TITLE attribute of images. Punchlines of jokes have started showing up in the title attribute all the damn time. Could you at least put it in the alt attribute as well, all of you web comic authors?

4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life easier, and why are they so helpful for you?

1. Semantic markup. Simple semantic pages that, if you stripped out the CSS and the JavaScript, would look like a circa-1995 website, make a huge difference. If a website is navigable and provides all of its content in a way that you can get to with CSS and JavaScript turned off, then the odds are it's pretty accessible.

2. There are very few sites out there that mix their AJAX with WAI-ARIA, but it is actually helpful. I find that if the correct WAI-ARIA is enabled, I can navigate dynamically unfolding drop-down menus entirely by keyboard (and therefore, inherently by voice), without having to go to the alternative page.

3. Provide transcripts for video and audio, actually. Even though my disability is entirely mobility based, it does affect my ability to efficiently take in video and audio. Because I can't get easily in and out of flash objects, I don't like to play videos very much, and besides, I can't dictate while there is an audio channel going on, at least, not in any effective way. So transcripts that give me the content are much more effective for me than having to watch any video.

4. MEANINGFUL LINK TEXT. When it's a pain to open every single tab, links named "here" are never going to get opened. Don't try to surprise me with a clever joke or a Rickroll; if I don't know what is going to be in the link, I just won't open it. I have stopped reading multiple blogs because of this (e.g. Atrios, and I don't read Krugman as often as I used to). Even if you've told me outside of the link name, one of the ways for me to find the link is by the link text. Put something meaningful in there. Please.

5. If you could make every website in the world follow one accessibility rule, what would that rule be, and why?

I want to be mean and say "test your website without your mouse plugged in and with JavaScript disabled" but that's not what you mean, is it? But that's really what my rule would be. Make all of your basic site content accessible without JavaScript and without Flash. Unless your site requires JavaScript and Flash by the very nature of your content. I understand that it's not going to be easy for Google to make a keyboard-only way to drag waypoints around the map, but you shouldn't need JavaScript to generate basic directions. (Google's not a fair example, because actually they are reasonably accessible. But this is actually a better example of stupid roadblocks. If you need JavaScript for things that don't require JavaScript, like generating basic directions, then that's one more roadblock. If I either need to disable JavaScript because predictive search screws up my accessibility, or enable it in order to get basic directions, that's a ridiculous roadblock.)


6. What are the things you would want an able-bodied programmer to know, understand, or experience about your assistive technology and/or your accessibility needs?

1. Not everyone who has computer accessibility needs has vision problems. Some of us have mobility problems.

2. I understand it looks cool to watch somebody talk to their computer. Stop thinking about how cool it is and start thinking about what a pain it is.

3. My assistive technology needs have already massively constrained me to operating system (Windows), browser (thankfully NaturallySpeaking has learned to play well with Firefox), computer (has to be powerful). It tries to constrain me to applications all the damn time. Any time you do something else that puts limits on me, you are cutting off my air just that little bit more.

4. Interacting online may be a fun bonus for you, but for people with disabilities, it can be a necessity. The difference between shopping online and shopping in the store for someone with a physical disability can be the difference between shopping at all and getting by without replacing old clothes. So if you make shopping online difficult or impossible, you're taking shopping away from me. Ditto for social networking, or any other website.

And yes, I recognize that I am saying that something that just got invented is already a necessity that I can't function without. If you folks had been around when they first started making YOUR adaptive technology available to the general public -- by which I mean glasses, of course, which I'm sure most of you wear -- you would have started calling them an absolute essential as soon as you got your first pair.

7. What are some things that people do in the name of accessibility that aren't very helpful, or actively make your experience worse?

1. Access keys. Opera lets me turn them off, and the Firefox Accessibility add-on also does, but by default, they interfere with all of the key bindings I have set up all over my computer to do the things I need to do.

2. Providing accessibility style sheets to change the font size, or providing built-in third-party screen readers. At this point, I think we can assume that people who need to change their font size know how to do it, and if you need a screenreader you have one. Don't provide accessibility tools on a per-site basis -- make your site follow accessibility standards so that users' own accessibility tools can interact with your site.

3. Advertising an "accessibility" mode but not explaining what it does. The web version of Outlook does this.

4. Providing all information via PDF. Please, stop buying the bill of goods that Adobe is selling you. PDF is not automatically accessible, and too many people think it is.

8. Is there anything I've forgotten to ask about but you think I should cover anyway?
Edited (tacos made my meaning unclear; wow there are a lot of tacos in this one) 2010-10-27 15:02 (UTC)
we_are_spc: owl-winged man with name, starry night sky and guitar in background. (Craimar)

[personal profile] we_are_spc 2010-10-27 15:25 (UTC)(link)
4. Providing all information via PDF. Please, stop buying the bill of goods that Adobe is selling you. PDF is not automatically accessible, and too many people think it is.

Thank ye, thank ye, thank ye!

...

If stuff's in PDF, we start cursin'. Hard. We even have an acronim for it which I not be puttin' here 'cause it ain't for public consumption, but.

Dear good gods we hates PDF's.

~*C*~
Edited (spelling) 2010-10-27 15:26 (UTC)

(no subject)

[personal profile] codeman38 - 2010-10-27 17:39 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] highlander_ii - 2010-10-29 07:05 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] akacat - 2010-10-29 15:47 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] julesjones - 2010-10-30 15:26 (UTC) - Expand
rydra_wong: dreamsheep with spork and "SheepSpork" logo; no, it wouldn't make any more sense if you saw it  (dreamwidth -- sheepspork)

[personal profile] rydra_wong 2010-10-27 19:33 (UTC)(link)
1. What assistive technology do you use at least semi-regularly to interact with the world wide web?

This is not specifically for accessibility reasons, but I set a minimum font size which is larger than the standard. You'd be amazed how many websites there are where this means that menus vanish, or important functions disappear behind a decorative header.

2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?

Seconding people who said they routinely browse with Javascript and Flash turned off (for me, this is an anxiety issue, so I guess that's at least partly a disabilty issue).

If I have to enable multiple Flash things just to see your website, not to mention waiting while your Flash thingy loads so I can watch your logo flutter across the screen and shatter into a million sparkling butterflies before I can find a menu, I hate you.

3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you?

See above.

I also hate hate hate any sites that automatically play music or any other sounds; I have an exaggerated startle reaction, so unexpected noise will literally make me spasm and flail and have to spend a lot of time calming myself down afterwards.

I have possible epilepsy (ergo possible issues with flashing images), and definitely get visual aggravation from repetitive animations, so I browse with all animation disabled in Firefox. This means that if some important information or joke or meaning is contained in an animated gif, I'm not getting it.

4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life easier, and why are they so helpful for you?

Not doing any of the stupid and/or annoying things mentioned above.

Clear organization. I shouldn't have to click randomly on menu categories because I can't work out what the hell something would be listed under.

Search functions that work.

Good FAQs.

6. What are the things you would want an able-bodied programmer to know, understand, or experience about your assistive technology and/or your accessibility needs?

I think in text. It won't occur to me to click the little icon/button/picture etc. if it doesn't have text with it telling me what it does.

And yes, please, transcripts for video/audio. It costs a lot more processing spoons for me to watch a video than to read the transcript.
Edited 2010-10-27 19:36 (UTC)
kake: The word "kake" written in white fixed-font on a black background. (Default)

[personal profile] kake 2010-10-29 13:21 (UTC)(link)
I browse with all animation disabled in Firefox.

I never realised before that you can do this! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

(no subject)

[personal profile] codeman38 - 2010-10-29 17:30 (UTC) - Expand
codeman38: Osaka from Azumanga Daioh, with a speech bubble reading 'Contemplation No. 1'. (contemplation)

[personal profile] codeman38 2010-10-28 17:39 (UTC)(link)
1. What assistive technology do you use at least semi-regularly to interact with the world wide web?

Adjusting the font size and color scheme in my browser are the main big ones.

Also, captioning when it's available on videos, but that's actually quite a rarity.


2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?

Poor motor coordination. Way too many sites make it too easy to accidentally click a button that does Very Bad Things with no confirmation, or put too many links in close proximity that do very different things. Bad enough with a mouse; worse yet with a touch-screen phone or tablet. And often, the sites that make these mistakes also completely ignore keyboard navigation, naturally.


3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you?

1. Sites that require Flash. Can't adjust the font size or font color, or even copy text to make it more readable. Often breaks navigation totally. And it doesn't even work on my PowerPC Linux box or my iPhone, because Adobe simply doesn't make a player for that platform.

2. Video/audio without even a bare summary of what the content is about, much less a decent transcript. "Hey, you should struggle to make out the dialogue over the really loud background music in this uncaptioned video, possibly using up all your spoons, because it's really important!"

3. Text stored as images. Bearable when it's only used for headers and when it has alt tags. Not so bearable when it's used for body text or untagged. And on a related note, CAPTCHAs-- which are essentially text stored as images that are designed to be inaccessible and difficult to read.

4. Auto-playing audio. Startle reflex, anyone? It's no wonder I often surf with the computer on mute, but when I'm listening to music it comes as a definitely unwelcome surprise.

5. Failing to define both foreground and background colors when defining a custom color scheme. I've seen so many posts written using LiveJournal's rich text editor that hard-code a black foreground color, which is... quite hard to read on my journal layout's black background, to say the least. Similarly, I've seen message templates on Wikia that were, e.g., 'default foreground color' on pale yellow, which is not good when the default foreground color in your style override is white!

4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life easier, and why are they so helpful for you?

1. Captioning or transcripts of audiovisual content. So much. It makes it so much easier to enjoy the content without struggling to decipher it.

2. Gracefully reformatting if I set my browser to override your specified font, font size, or color scheme. The reasons should be obvious.

3. Alternate versions that are easy to find. For instance, a Flash-heavy site having an HTML-only version with mostly equivalent content (which I often find easier to navigate). Or a graphics-heavy page having a more easily reformattable text version that was actually designed by a human rather than transcoded by a machine.

4. Sensible tab order. So much easier when I'm entering data into a form, for instance, if the cursor doesn't jump around the screen wildly while I tab from field to field. Keyboard accessibility in general, for that matter-- and that includes not overriding the standard behavior of browser keys like the up and down arrows and the 'close window' and 'go back' shortcuts.

5. No distracting animations. I can read text with such distractions, but it takes so much longer-- if the distractions are gone and I can actually focus on blocks of text, it's so much easier.

5. If you could make every website in the world follow one accessibility rule, what would that rule be, and why?

Test your site! Try changing your browser's color scheme. Try changing your font size. Try watching the videos with your volume turned all the way down and see if it makes sense. Try testing it on an iPhone, or some other platform for which Flash doesn't exist. And so on.

6. What are the things you would want an able-bodied programmer to know, understand, or experience about your assistive technology and/or your accessibility needs?

Mainly, although I'm not deaf or blind, I do have issues with visual and auditory processing. Thus, a lot of accessibility features that are useful for blind and deaf people-- customizable fonts/sizes/colors/layouts, captions/transcripts-- are useful for me for the same reasons.

7. What are some things that people do in the name of accessibility that aren't very helpful, or actively make your experience worse?

As mentioned above, overriding expected browser behaviors, whether they be with the mouse or with the keyboard.

Hiding links to alternate versions so that they're only seen, e.g., by a screen reader or with plugins turned off. In the former case, as a sighted user with screwy vision, I can't find a version that may be more accessible to me without either disabling style sheets or looking at the source code. In the latter case, the FlashBlock plugin causes Flash to be detected but not displayed, thus hiding the link from me.

I'm sure there are others, but I can't think of them at the moment-- I'll leave them in another comment if I do, though.

8. Is there anything I've forgotten to ask about but you think I should cover anyway?

"Are there any accessibility features that don't exist, but do you wish existed? These can be realistic or completely fantastic; your decision."

I don't really have an answer on this, but auto-captioning that actually works (unlike YouTube's...) would be absolutely awesome. Not that it's going to exist anytime soon, of course-- and I say this as someone studying natural language processing!
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)

[personal profile] deborah 2010-10-28 18:23 (UTC)(link)
Hiding links to alternate versions so that they're only seen, e.g., by a screen reader or with plugins turned off.


This, this, so much this. Because so many people think that programming for accessibility means "programming for blind users who are using screenreaders, which of course means JAWS because that's the only one we know about", they think that making alternate versions and alternate functionality available in a way that is hidden from everyone but screenreaders is valid. I actually have to have a NaturallySpeaking macro for "toggle styles", because turning off CSS is the only way I can find those alternate versions and that alternate functionality.

(no subject)

[personal profile] shiyiya - 2010-10-29 13:27 (UTC) - Expand
lilacsigil: Jeune fille de Megare statue, B&W (Default)

[personal profile] lilacsigil 2010-10-29 07:45 (UTC)(link)
1. What assistive technology do you use at least semi-regularly to interact with the world wide web?
None

2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?
I have chronic vertigo and arthritis, so I need pages that don't flash or move around, plus links that are not hidden or tiny.

3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you?

1. Large portions of the screen and/or necessary information are in Flash - I don't want sudden movement or scrolling that I don't control so I use Flashblocker, which then makes some site inaccessible.

2. Images (especially moving images) that are necessary for navigation and/or can't be switched off.

3. Tiny, tiny close-together links so a hand-wobble means I go to the wrong place.

4. Any kind of pop-up image, including inside other images.

5. Pages that are so big that they load segments at a time and thus jump all over the screen as they load.

6. Giant pages that need scrolling in more than one direction.

4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life easier, and why are they so helpful for you?

1. No auto-start on video or other moving images.

2. Links are visible, clear and well-spaced.

3. No flashing anything.

4. Information is text or still image based.

5. Video transcriptions - most non-professional videos (and many professional ones!) are too jerky and mobile for me to watch.

5. If you could make every website in the world follow one accessibility rule, what would that rule be, and why?

Nothing will start without the user starting it.

6. What are the things you would want an able-bodied programmer to know, understand, or experience about your assistive technology and/or your accessibility needs?

The more exciting your site gets the less accessible it is. A basic version should always be clearly available.

7. What are some things that people do in the name of accessibility that aren't very helpful, or actively make your experience worse?

Flashing arrows or scrolling text to point out important things. A slideshow.

8. Is there anything I've forgotten to ask about but you think I should cover anyway?

Mobile sites are often better for me in terms of no moving images - but they rarely have full functionality. Why not?
deird1: Fred looking pretty and thoughful (Default)

[personal profile] deird1 2010-10-29 07:52 (UTC)(link)
1. What assistive technology do you use at least semi-regularly to interact with the world wide web?

None.

2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?

I have ADHD. High levels of distractability.

3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you?

1) Moving images that I can't freeze! I can't focus on anything else on the page unless I cover the image with my hand.
2) When you scroll down, and half the page scrolls, but half the background doesn't. It makes the whole thing look like it's moving (as an image, not just in the scrolling sense) and I can't keep reading for a couple of seconds.
3) Weird colour combinations for the text and background. The contrast gets my mind buzzing and unable to think.
4) Links ALL OVER THE PAGE. Too much to deal with, and my brain shuts down.

4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life easier, and why are they so helpful for you?

1) "my style" or "light style" options so I can change colour combinations to suit me.
2) Putting links in a logical place - preferably all together (eg, in a bar across the top of the page).

5. If you could make every website in the world follow one accessibility rule, what would that rule be, and why?

Light style options.

6. What are the things you would want an able-bodied programmer to know, understand, or experience about your assistive technology and/or your accessibility needs?

That it's not a matter of it taking me longer to read a page; it's that my brain will SHUT DOWN, and either I get a way to deal with the problem RIGHT NOW, or I'm going to backspace away, because my brain simply can't deal with the overload of information.

7. What are some things that people do in the name of accessibility that aren't very helpful, or actively make your experience worse?

Nothing I can think of.

8. Is there anything I've forgotten to ask about but you think I should cover anyway?

Nope.
deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)

[personal profile] deborah 2010-10-29 14:31 (UTC)(link)
1) "my style" or "light style" options so I can change colour combinations to suit me.

I don't know what browser you use, but in Firefox and Opera at least there are easy ways to switch to your own stylesheet, and Opera comes bundled with a whole slew of stylesheets designed for a variety of accessibility needs. If you use either of those I'm happy to tell you how! (I hate to give advice when it wasn't asked for, because it might be exactly what you don't want. But let me know if you are interested.)
pthalo: a photo of Jelena Tomašević in autumn colours (Default)

[personal profile] pthalo 2010-10-29 09:42 (UTC)(link)
1. What assistive technology do you use at least semi-regularly to interact with the world wide web?

I have a custom css file in my browser that changes the background colour of webpages to a neutral colour and makes the text larger because of my migraines. I have this turned on in my browser all the time because I have migraines most of the time.

2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?

I have CAPD have trouble understanding information presented in voice. I need videos to be captioned or transcripts available.

3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you?

  1. I don't like when they have a picture that i want to see (say one with text on it for navigation), but instead of using an <img> tag they put it as the background of a table cell, because then i have to turn off my custom stylesheet just to see the image.

  2. Background noise that starts playing when I open the page -- any media that auto starts. And any sound that cannot be turned off. It usually causes me to lose my train of thought and can bother me if I have a migraine or if I'm just listening to something else at the moment.

  3. Images that move. Arrows that bounce pointing at something the site wants me to do. I can't read any text on the page when there's an image that's moving and that makes me less likely to want to click the arrow.

  4. Specify a line-height in pixels. Since I need the text larger, the line-height setting will make the text unreadable very quickly.

  5. Have a site that is completely unusable in a text only browser. All I want is to be able to load your webpage in elinks and read a couple articles and click a couple links. This is especially true ifyour page is loading slowly for me or has too much background noise.

  6. Have a site that side scrolls when I have to zoom in because the text is too small even with my browser settings. (as dreamwidth is doing right now). Have a site that side scrolls but the horizontal scroll bar doesn't show up, ever, so i'm left missing the right half of what people are saying.


4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life easier, and why are they so helpful for you?

  1. Have content I want to read and not get in the way of my reading it.

  2. Provide captions/transcriptions of videos/audio files.

  3. Not have any animated images



5. If you could make every website in the world follow one accessibility rule, what would that rule be, and why?

Have clear, intuitive navigation on your site, so that the user can think about your site instead of about how to make your site show the user the page the user wants to see.

6. What are the things you would want an able-bodied programmer to know, understand, or experience about your assistive technology and/or your accessibility needs?

I think a good exercise for an able-bodied programmer would be to try to make a custom user css file for their browser with the requirements of: make all the text a lot larger and change all text to black on a light background. Then wander about the net and discover that you can't read some major online newspapers because of lineheight problems, you have to increase not only the size of the text but the size of various types of input fields, but that causes other problems on other websites. Then the able-bodied programmer could make a note of all the things that interfere with this very simple task (change colours and increase size of everything to about 40pt without having to sidescroll too much), and could avoid doing those things on their pages because I think many users who are sighted but have some vision problems or intermittent ones use zooming in as a strategy -- one that doesn't work fully for me because my browser won't zoom in far enough. There's still text I can't read at the highest zoom level.


7. What are some things that people do in the name of accessibility that aren't very helpful, or actively make your experience worse?

n/a

8. Is there anything I've forgotten to ask about but you think I should cover anyway?

no
tig_b: cartoon from nMC set (Default)

[personal profile] tig_b 2010-10-29 10:16 (UTC)(link)
1. What assistive technology do you use at least semi-regularly to interact with the world wide web?
I am dyslexic, and always use a spellchecker, at the moment this is AtD in Firefox. I've recently started using Windows speech recognition software for entering large amounts of text.

2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?
None

3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you?
Too much 'noise'. Flash and moving adverts. Too many clashing colours. Too much content per page. Too many fonts. Unclear links. All of these make it difficult for me to read the text and identify the key information.

4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life easier, and why are they so helpful for you?
Fairly plain layouts (these can still be artistic and look good, and include pictures/logos), careful use of colour and fonts (styles). Anything that helps me to focus on the words!

5. If you could make every website in the world follow one accessibility rule, what would that rule be, and why?
Get rid of video and flash that automatically starts up and can't be stopped by the user.
6. What are the things you would want an able-bodied programmer to know, understand, or experience about your assistive technology and/or your accessibility needs?

7. What are some things that people do in the name of accessibility that aren't very helpful, or actively make your experience worse?
Designers don't usually know the full impact of colour choices on various disabilities, so they select a colour scheme that is good for some and make if harder for others.
( - just don't ask me about wheelchair access! I'd need a book to answer)

8. Is there anything I've forgotten to ask about but you think I should cover anyway?
No but thank you for this.
green_knight: (Bruja Informatica)

[personal profile] green_knight 2010-10-29 10:57 (UTC)(link)
2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?

I debated whether I should take this survey, and decided for it. I use a four-year-old computer with a four-year-old operating system and occasionally a three-year-old factoryware netbook to access the internet through a slow connection - and I find myself being locked out of sites. ( Eg, Blogger crashes my main browser and refuses to keep me logged in, and short of winning the lottery I cannot fix that.)

I feel that this *is* an accessilibility need. Dreamwidth is trying to encourage users from varied backgrounds and from all over the globe - and while high-earning Westerners might be able to keep their technology always cutting-edge, many others can't. Library and other public access computers, for instance, are often elderly and underpowered, Small changes - like LJ forcing a page reload for every reply instead of using an in-page comment form - make a significant difference.

In short, my need is for DW to remain usable on older computers and low bandwidth.

3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you?

- scripts that crash my elderly version of Safari
- scripts demanding the newest software/browser to work
-java scripts that slow my computer
- flash with scripts that slow down my computer
- cookie monsters (I'm reviewing 3rd party cookies. I've had as many as *43* cookie/modification requests for a single, simple webpage.)
- bandwidth-eating anything (it's no fun waiting ten minutes for a webpage to load and I'm not even on dialup)


4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life easier, and why are they so helpful for you?

- intelligent use of web technology to work on as wide a selection of platforms as possible.
- good design: make it easy to navigate, make it easy to find what I'm looking for
- don't fix what isn't broken: if your site works, don't 'upgrade' it unless there's a need.

5. If you could make every website in the world follow one accessibility rule, what would that rule be, and why?

- when in doubt, design for a wide userbase. If thats not possible (conflicting access needs) find a way to funnel all users who need a certain element to a specific point. (The use of 'mobile.mysite.com' is a good example of that principle.

deborah: the Library of Congress cataloging numbers for children's literature, technology, and library science (Default)

[personal profile] deborah 2010-10-29 14:46 (UTC)(link)
I feel like what you're talking about is one of the principles behind subsuming accessibility into universal design. It's just that people find it (relatively) easy to understand accessibility compared to universal design. But Universal Design/Design for All would say that a website that's not usable by all of its potential users/clients/customers is a failure of design. By the same token, accommodating a variety of platforms will almost certainly increase your accessibility to people with disabilities.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)

[personal profile] redbird 2010-10-29 11:28 (UTC)(link)
What I hate is any kind of quick blinking: the "blink" tag is evil, and so are a significant amount of animation and other fast-cut video and movies. I'm not seizure-prone as far as I know, but those things make my brain hurt. (Not literal pain, but mind/brain discomfort.)

I have a "zap cheap effects" bookmarklet for "blink", but it only works after I know there's a problem on the page.

I suspect you're not going to be using either that tag, or Flash for a significant part of the page, on any of the main DW pages, but it seems worth mentioning. (The problem with Flash, other than how pointless most of it is, is that there's no way to know whether I'm going to see a harmless movie, problematic fast cuts, or a dinner menu dissolving annoyingly from page to page until I've opened it.)

The difference is that Flash does have some real uses, and that I can't really avoid it: it's too much a part of many Web sites now. The "blink" tag is utterly unnecessary.
noble_freedom: (Default)

[personal profile] noble_freedom 2010-10-29 12:02 (UTC)(link)
I don't have a disability per se, so I'm not going to fill out the entire questionnaire, but I do want to mention something:

I had Lasik Eye surgery performed about 4 years ago. And ever since then, white (or light grey or even some other colors - but white is the worst) lettering on black backgrounds is near impossible to read. The glare created by the tiny white against the broader black makes all the letters blend together.

I hate that to read journals with black backgrounds with white lettering I have to cut and paste into a word document just to read it (or zoom it to 200% bigger - which is annoying when I have several tabs open in my broswer). I know this will upset a great number of people, but I wish all styles that are white on black would go away, never to be seen again.

I also know that those with other types of vision issues have problems reading white on black as well, so it's not just me, I swear.
codeman38: Osaka from Azumanga Daioh, with a speech bubble reading 'Contemplation No. 1'. (contemplation)

[personal profile] codeman38 2010-10-29 12:25 (UTC)(link)
And this is a case where conflicting accommodations come into play: many people, myself included, find white on black easier to read.

The solution, of course, is to offer multiple style sheets. But most sites just plain don't.

(no subject)

[personal profile] deborah - 2010-10-29 14:33 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] kake - 2010-10-29 13:27 (UTC) - Expand
shiyiya: Shiyiya, a very pale white girl with brown hair and eyes. (Default)

[personal profile] shiyiya 2010-10-29 13:19 (UTC)(link)
1. What assistive technology do you use at least semi-regularly to interact with the world wide web?

Zooming in the text, the Readability bookmarklet, and some stylish scripts that force blackonwhite and reasonable text size. I also frequently use AdBlock to kill images that are messing with my head in some way - freaky/ansiety inducing, or just ow-making flashing gifs or images that someone's decided were a good idea to use as a background for text.

2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?

3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you?

- Ridiculously tiny text - there must be people out there who can read four point fonts, since they get used, but I am not one of them.
- Text on top of images. Marble patterns or fake parchment things or pictures of snowflakes are NOT GOOD BACKGROUNDS for text. Ugh visual noise. Makes my brain hurt and makes it very hard to read things.
- Ridiculously low-contrast background/text. Can ANYONE actually read dark grey text on a slightly darker grey background?
- Autoplaying music, video, or ANY SOUND AT ALL. No. Just no. It's startling, and 99% of the time I'm already listening to my own goddamn music, thankyouverymuch, and don't need their shit to clash with it. And i tend to open a lot of tabs at once, so I *also* have to hunt down which tab is the one doing it.
- Floating toolbar things on the top of the bottom of the page. HI YOU ARE COVERING UP THE TEXT AND MAKING IT VERY HARD FOR ME TO USE MY SITE, ALSO WASTING MEMORY.
- Untranscribed video or audio. It uses up a lot of brain spoons for me to parse video and/or audio - if I don't even know what the thing you're linking/embedding IS, I'm certainly not going to waste them on it.
- PDFs. Just, PDFs.

4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life easier, and why are they so helpful for you?
Readable font colours. Readable font sizes - even better, an option to change the font size, like the dropdown FWD has. Clean, uncluttered layouts. No unnecessary images/visual noise. Transcribed video and audio. Not making noise at me. Options to tweak the layout so it works better for my brain.

5. If you could make every website in the world follow one accessibility rule, what would that rule be, and why?
Transcribing video/audio. I was tempted to say reasonable sized fonts, but I can work around that much easier.

6. What are the things you would want an able-bodied programmer to know, understand, or experience about your assistive technology and/or your accessibility needs?

Video and audio: Not everyone can understand it. Tiny fonts are unreadable. Do not make pictures of text, they can't be zoomed in on.

7. What are some things that people do in the name of accessibility that aren't very helpful, or actively make your experience worse?

I know some people need low-contrast sites - argh, conflicting accessibility needs - but if your site is yellow text on black with no option to switch to blackonwhite I'm unlikely to expend the effort to read it. Hurts my brain *and* my eyes.

8. Is there anything I've forgotten to ask about but you think I should cover anyway?

Definitely how accessibility needs can unfortunately conflict! D:
codeman38: Osaka from Azumanga Daioh surrounded by Japanese kana, translated as 'Get it together!' (get it together)

[personal profile] codeman38 2010-10-29 15:54 (UTC)(link)
Oh, gah, "pictures of snowflakes" reminded me of something that I've seen done on some sites around the winter holidays-- where they'll have a layer in front of the text with something like falling snowflakes. It's rare, but I have seen it done... and it totally screws with my mind since I've got 'visual snow' already with my visual processing quirks.

(no subject)

[personal profile] shiyiya - 2010-10-29 16:05 (UTC) - Expand
lapillus: (my2cents image by yatoobin)

[personal profile] lapillus 2010-10-29 14:02 (UTC)(link)
2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?

My accessibility needs are pretty minimal but as someone on the more normal end of them I thought I'd mention that anything that requires lots of mouse clicks hurts enough that I generally won't bother with it and go on to other ways of entertaining myself. Therefore having the option to set things us so that use scrolling (which doesn't hurt me) rather than clicking as a personal norm for a site would be much better. Things like making sure articles can easily be shown on a single page (with the toggle for it up at the top), having a single button unfolding of things like comments and discussion threads also makes me much more likely to participate. Despite the fact that it regularly crashes firefox I still have installed the ancient repagination addon for firefox because it permits me to force this when sites don't have it built in as an option. However if sites had it built in it would end up with fewer calls and less repetitive data downloads.
pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

[personal profile] pne 2010-10-29 14:21 (UTC)(link)
For many sites, splitting up content onto dozens of pages is a way to show more ads, so they're not likely to change that any time soon :(

Though for news-type sites, they often have a "Print View" link which has the content all on one page - I use that feature pretty often. (Though unfortunately, that sometimes loses information, depending on the site.)

(no subject)

[personal profile] deborah - 2010-10-29 14:35 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] lapillus - 2010-10-29 14:36 (UTC) - Expand
rosay: (Ken meets modern art)

[personal profile] rosay 2010-10-29 14:53 (UTC)(link)
1. What assistive technology do you use at least semi-regularly to interact with the world wide web?

I use a microsoft "natural" ergonomic keyboard with a zoom toggle. Also an anir joystick mouse, which is awesome except for applications that require strong left-right awareness (e.g I really struggle with games like minesweeper).


2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?

My eyesight is terrible but the technology I use for that is very expensive glasses, including strongly tinted ones when I'm on the computer.


3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you?

Didn't think I had a top/worst five but then I remembered text which doesn't "wrap" when I zoom! Other than that:

-action/navigation links at the bottom of the page only;
-cluttered text and links, grey font on black etc;
-having to open entries (whether email/blog posts etc) in order to delete them;
-not being able to make "bulk" changes.


4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life
easier, and why are they so helpful for you?

Things which fix the five points mentioned above!

Generally, anything which makes it easier to read a page without putting my nose to the screen and minimises the amount of clicking and scrolling needed in order to use the site functions. Helpful because they reduce pain.


5. If you could make every website in the world follow one accessibility rule, what would that rule be, and why?

Actually having an accessibility rule would be a good start! It shouldn't be an afterthought.


6. What are the things you would want an able-bodied programmer to know, understand, or experience about your assistive technology and/or your accessibility needs?

An acccessibly designed site represents an improved experience for everyone using it. An inaccessibly designed site represents a market segment you've just lost.

Also, many people using the web are over 25. Many are over 45. And no matter how well you take care of yourself, by the age of 45, your eyesight is getting worse. It's a natural process not a freak occurence.


7. What are some things that people do in the name of accessibility that aren't very helpful, or actively make your experience worse?

Nothing I can think of.


8. Is there anything I've forgotten to ask about but you think I should cover anyway?

Ditto!
camille_bacon_smith: (Default)

[personal profile] camille_bacon_smith 2010-10-29 15:21 (UTC)(link)
Like many of the people with vision issues here already, I want to cast a vote for text that word-wraps comfortably when I increase the text size.

I hate websites with a column for content at the center and ads or graphics on the sides because when I try to enlarge the content, the text column gets narrower to accommodate the enlarged images on the sides. Sometimes the images encroach on the text and I can't read it at all.

I am old school and can read black on white or white on black or even bright orange dots on black. But I stay away from sites with insufficient contrast between the text and the background. Dark colors on black, pale colors on white may sing to the artistic soul of the designer but they are pretty much unreadable to me.

I don't see things exactly where they are, so if links are too close together I invariably click the wrong one.

And this may be completely self-absorbed, but I don't want to have to code in an override to your style just to find out whether I want to look at your webpage at all. There are a lot of webpages out there, so unless I already know you, I will pass you by.



siggy: (badger)

[personal profile] siggy 2010-10-29 16:07 (UTC)(link)
1. What assistive technology do you use at least semi-regularly to interact with the world wide web? I use the open source screenreader NVDA (non visual desktop access)

2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they? N/A

3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you? Anything involving Flash. Adverts. MUSIC (hate this). High graphic quotient. No alt tag on graphics. Info that comes in PDF format. it's horrid because so many sites do this and it's not accessible a lot of the time.

4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life easier, and why are they so helpful for you? Have a text only version of the webpage. alt tag graphics.It's just very nice when a website does this. It makes me feel included. A nice logical page layout is always a treat. Nice neat links, not tons of them spread all over the place.

5. If you could make every website in the world follow one accessibility rule, what would that rule be, and why? I suppose no Flash would be good. I can't access a website that uses it.

6. What are the things you would want an able-bodied programmer to know, understand, or experience about your assistive technology and/or your accessibility needs? If you unplug the mouse, can you easily navigate the website using keystrokes? If you can then your job is pretty much done.

7. What are some things that people do in the name of accessibility that aren't very helpful, or actively make your experience worse? The dreaded PDF rears its ugly head. It's not accessible most of the time. Some sites have there own screenreader which is annoying. Let's face I wouldn't have got there in the first place if I wasn't using my own screenreader. Some sites seem to hijack your keyboard (I don't know what they do I'm a techno numpty but that's very frustrating when the way I use my keystrokes suddenly changes.

8. Is there anything I've forgotten to ask about but you think I should cover anyway? No, you've been lovely.
xtina: (Default)

[personal profile] xtina 2010-10-29 16:09 (UTC)(link)
1. What assistive technology do you use at least semi-regularly to interact with the world wide web?

Ctrl-+, for resizing pages.

A variation on Readability (the original removes comments and doesn't catch everything) for converting pages to black text on a white background.

2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?

I'm somewhat hard of hearing, which means I watch all movies with captions on.  I made a wiki online for holding video transcripts of various videos, because I got tired of not being able to hear them well.

3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you?

* Using too much grey text.  I understand that we're in the shiny future and all, but I can't see that.  Especially on my crappy CRT monitor at home.  #000 or bust!!

*-1 Hiding various needed elements behind cutesy labels, or in menu drop-downs, or things like that.  For an example of "needed", a boiler service company should have its contact info readily available, whereas Dreamwidth doesn't need that as much.  However, DW does need the "support" links readily available.  "Needed" depends on what the site is for.

(The support link is fine, btw.  :) )

*-2 Further on that, I really don't want to have to play a guessing game to figure out that "Farmer John's Advisory Hour" is referring to the FAQ.  Accept that enough people on the web use "FAQ" to refer to a particular thing, which means that people coming to your site will look for a FAQ and expect to see it called FAQ.  Guh.

* Use images for menus.  This can be fine, but when one combines that with things like "small text is small" or "who decided fuchsia and orange go together??", it gets annoying real fast.

* FLASH.  Especially Flash for NAVIGATION.  I have Flashblock, so that's a yay, but for serious.  I can't search for or copy text, designers get full of themselves and somehow make it even harder to find menu items, and some places embed sound.

(I am not speaking of band (as in music) websites.  That's a lost cause.)

* In conclusion, that floating header/footer bar.  I don't necessarily mind it in/of itself.  The issue that I have is that it covers up text.  And while I can scroll down to see that text, when I hit Space or Page Down/Up, the scrolling isn't... it doesn't take into account that line of text.

I can't find an example, and I have a splitting headache, so I'm not sure if I'm being clear here.  :/

* Use descriptive link text, and again, stop with the cutesy crap.  I really don't want to have to play a guessing game to figure out that "Farmer John's Advisory Hour" is referring to the FAQ.  Accept that enough people on the web use "FAQ" to refer to a particular thing, which means that people coming to your site

4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life easier, and why are they so helpful for you?

* The first time I saw a text resizer/text only option on a web page, I nearly cheered out loud.  On a related note, I live in Oregon, and I am 100% fucking pleased by that website.  <3

A similar thing to that is the format=light deal, here.  Basically, having a way to remove all the Super Shiny bells/whistles and get to the content.

* Using proper alt/title text.  I sometimes have images disabled (for example, I block the userpics from DW and LJ at work, because I do not need to take that chance), and it's nice to know what the image is.

* Cutting down on the number of steps it takes to do basic things.  I'm prone to RSI, and having to click 15 times just to get two things done is a sign of failure.

* Silly, yet somewhat serious: spell things correctly.  For heaven's sake.  And don't flub the its/it's thing.  Typos are one thing, but site-wide lack of caring about spelling/grammar breaks my suspension of disbelief, as it were.

(I have, in fact, reported typos to webmasters before, on the principle that they'd want to make the website better.  I restrain myself from thoroughly copy-editing them, though.  ::koff::)

* Set up the webpage so that increasing the font size (as I tend to do) doesn't egregiously break the page.

5. If you could make every website in the world follow one accessibility rule, what would that rule be, and why?

"You must use each tool on the W3C accessibility tools list before you're allowed to publish your site."

I mean, perhaps not all of them, but still.  (I try to use them on sites that I have any control over.)


I've run out of brains at this point.  But this was a good survey.
dchan: Tsuruga Ren (from Skip Beat) holding a cell phone. text: internet addict (internet addict)

[personal profile] dchan 2010-10-29 16:24 (UTC)(link)
I spent 3-4+ hours typing up a long and detailed response to this, and then when I tried to submit it my wireless crapped out and I lost everything. I've got the Lazarus add-on for Firefox, but I've switched over to Chrome for a fair number of things lately, and I forgot that I didn't have that add-on in Chrome. (I just installed it, but I can't retrieve data from before the installation. *cry*) I suppose that's an accessibility need in and of itself, although that's more on the browser/app end than site-design end.

So this is going to be the abbreviated version, and I'm going to try to restrict myself to stuff people haven't already commented on.

I have an autistic spectrum disorder. Generally, this affects my "real life" functioning more than my web functioning, but the two are somewhat interrelated.

The biggest issue I have with interacting on the web is anything that involves audio. I have audio processing difficulties and audio sensitivities. This means that I HIGHLY prefer any and all information to come in a format that doesn't require audio (pictures and text, mostly). This also means that if your site makes noises without my permission, my response is to KILL IT WITH FIRE. If I want something to make noise/play music/whatever, I am perfectly capable of finding the play button by myself.

Worth a special note:
I hate video tutorials with the passion of a thousand burning suns. Video tutorials that have all of the instructions in the narration (no text on screen) I hate with a the passion of ten thousand burning suns. Especially with software (e.g. Photoshop) tutorials, I cannot glean anything useful from seeing your entire screen shrunk down to a resolution of 360p. 480p is a lot better because I can actually make out menus at that point, but that's also about the point at which my connection starts having problems, and I am not going to wait for your video to buffer if I'm not sure it's even going to be useful to me. I would muchmuchMUCH rather you took a series of photos/screenshots to demonstrate each step of your process instead and wrote some descriptive text to document the process.

I think the biggest thing for programmers to keep in mind for me is that the Internet is my assistive technology. 95% or more of my daily social interaction takes place via the web, and 95% of that takes place via text-based medium (IM, email, Twitter/Plurk, LJ/DW, etc.). If you make your site/software difficult for me to use, you are taking away my ability to communicate. Face to face (or even telephone) interaction with people ranges from difficult and exhausting on most days to nearly impossible on bad days. I've battled agoraphobia for a number of years now, and there are still occasionally days in which I cannot leave the house. The internet is my only "window to the outside world" then.

Which brings me back to: Please put all relevant info on your website. Talking to new people is terrifying for me. Emailing customer support for help with a problem is bad, but having to call a customer support hotline is about a thousand times worse. Probably not relevant to free/open source software, but I HATE it when businesses/restaurants don't put their hours on their websites. I am not going to call your store/restaurant and see if you're open right now. I'm going to take my business to a place that I know is open right now instead, even if it means I have to drive an extra half hour or more each way to get what I need when I need it. (I'm a night owl by nature, and I've lost track of the number of times when I've realized at 2 am that I'm out of my medication or I'm desperately hungry and there's no food in the house. I can also never remember things like "we need to buy more lightbulbs" or "the toilet has a slow leak" at 11 pm.)

(and now I've spent 2 hours on the condensed version! go me.)
codeman38: Osaka from Azumanga Daioh enjoying sticking her face into a bed of flour a bit too much; captioned 'headdesk'. (headdesk)

[personal profile] codeman38 2010-10-29 17:22 (UTC)(link)
Oh, that reminds me of another pet peeve of mine: when the only contact info on a site is phone, and there's no e-mail address listed.

I mean, seriously. You've got a web site, people! If you don't already have an e-mail account, the package probably includes e-mail hosting!

(no subject)

[personal profile] xtina - 2010-10-30 00:33 (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

[personal profile] pthalo - 2010-10-30 22:32 (UTC) - Expand

[personal profile] indywind 2010-10-29 16:24 (UTC)(link)
1. What assistive technology do you use at least semi-regularly to interact with the world wide web?

none

2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?

I don't usually think of myself as having accessibility needs. I just tend to avoid things that don't work for me, and save the borderline stuff for when I have enough energy/attention to deal with it.

3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you?

animation, video (in order from worst to fine: as a splash page so you can't get to content without putting up with a flash animation; if it's active on a page competing with content and can't be stopped or opted-out from or worse, starts itself up unexpectedly; if it's active on a page with content but can be stopped, and better, minimized after stopping; if it's minimized and inactive and can be played on opt-in basis)
I am not a fan of Flash and Java just for coolness, only where they are needed for functionality.

motion, flashing, scrolling text, pop-ups or overzealous hover-over tags, bright clashing colors

Layout that has lots of undifferentiated little sections or segments, especially if lacking an explicit organizational structure. Tumblr is an example; I find tumblr blogs really hard to read.

pages whose major elements extend unbroken past the screen, so you can't see the whole [image / paragraph / menu /whatever ] in one screen no matter how you scroll -- or where they have stuff on them that becomes unintelligible when the font is resized.


4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life easier, and why are they so helpful for you?

Simple, clear and explicit organizational structure (seems like those whose "site map" can be expressed as an outline, tree, cluster,web or similar structure that fits on one screen, are the best for me)

Really good search capability, a help menu and flexible interface contact-a-live-human-for-help capability
(The later is relevant for organizations beyond their web design. If I'm struggling to get information I can't find in the standard layout materials, I find it really helpful to be able to choose to search the site, or phone, email, instant message for interactive help, according to which will best meet my needs.)

5. If you could make every website in the world follow one accessibility rule, what would that rule be, and why?

Let your content/message drive your presentation, instead of the other way around. Why? Because a focus on presenting content clearly and directly supports functional design and allows (if not outright requires) attention to diverse accessibility, whereas a focus on flashy impressive design for its own sake relies on assumptions of what's "impressive" that are often less inclusive.

Try ask the question, "how can I best communicate [essential content/message]" or "how can I best serve [essential purpose]" for the widest variety of users.

6. What are the things you would want an able-bodied programmer to know, understand, or experience about your assistive technology and/or your accessibility needs?

Dear programmer: you may already realize this, but, choices you make to improve accessibility for a wide range of users don't only benefit those who use assistive technologies or have distinct accessibility needs. Many well-implemented features that help those folks also benefit --and are appreciated by -- people of many different abilities and situations, including typically "normal" able people.

7. What are some things that people do in the name of accessibility that aren't very helpful, or actively make your experience worse?

Assuming that there is one right way to do accessibility, or that differing, even conflicting, needs can't be reconciled. Making the perfect the enemy of the good and

8. Is there anything I've forgotten to ask about but you think I should cover anyway?

I wondered if you wanted to hear, from respondents who were comfortable disclosing, what sorts if difficulties or needs they have that influence their responses above (if it's not already sufficiently obvious). Would that be relevant?

[personal profile] indywind 2010-10-29 16:33 (UTC)(link)
and what the respondent immediately above said about audio.
exor674: Computer Science is my girlfriend (Default)

[personal profile] exor674 2010-10-29 19:56 (UTC)(link)
This really isn't an accessibility thing, and more of a usability thing ( but I see others have been doing the same, so... ) but feel free to totally ignore this if you must!

I've been using a netbook nowadays for out-and-aboutness, and of course tiny screen, so I've got smaller-then-standard default font sizes and a bunch sites seem to degrade badly with said small font size ( Dreamwidth/tropo-red is at least *usable*, I know I found something that bugged me in regards to that, but I cannot for the life of me remember or find it now ) or on some sites, my font settings are tinyand others they are large.

Flash-based sites can cause me issues if I run into them ( again, this is more for a usability, Flash sucks on macs and my netbook standpoint ) [ of course, flash based sites have tons of other accessibility problems, as others have mentioned ]
codeman38: Osaka from Azumanga Daioh, with a speech bubble reading 'Contemplation No. 1'. (contemplation)

[personal profile] codeman38 2010-10-29 20:15 (UTC)(link)
Oh, that reminds me of another thing that annoys me: sites that are designed so that they have a horizontal scroll bar if they're viewed at less than, e.g., 1280 pixels wide.

Bad enough if you're using a netbook. Even worse if you're using something like Ubuntu Netbook Remix's new Unity layout (which has toolbars on the sides of the screen), or a vertical tab bar.

(no subject)

[personal profile] exor674 - 2010-10-29 22:56 (UTC) - Expand
mklutz: (mac-macheartspc)

[personal profile] mklutz 2010-10-29 21:07 (UTC)(link)
1. What assistive technology do you use at least semi-regularly to interact with the world wide web?
The Readability bookmarklet, for pages that I can't read because of the formatting, or when ?style=mine isn't enough.

2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?
na

3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you?
When text can't be set to a width or percentage of the page by the viewer; white text on black backgrounds; obnoxious colours

4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life easier, and why are they so helpful for you?
Readability bookmarklet so I can make the font bigger and adjust the width of a paragraph; that little button on ff.net (The Pit! I know.) that sets paragraphs to 1/2 3/4 etc of the page; user-customizable colour schemes or themes

5. If you could make every website in the world follow one accessibility rule, what would that rule be, and why?
Adjustable text viewing, because there are some things I won't read online unless I can adjust the text. Otherwise I get blurry, moving text and a headache.

6. What are the things you would want an able-bodied programmer to know, understand, or experience about your assistive technology and/or your accessibility needs?

7. What are some things that people do in the name of accessibility that aren't very helpful, or actively make your experience worse?
Italic, serif, light-coloured fonts on dark or brightly coloured backgrounds; flashing or blinking text, sparkle text, text that slides or is in any way animated. Some animated icons send my brain into a spasm and I have to individually block them which is really aggravating.

8. Is there anything I've forgotten to ask about but you think I should cover anyway?
archane: Archane is cute and sassy (Default)

[personal profile] archane 2010-10-29 21:38 (UTC)(link)
1. What assistive technology do you use at least semi-regularly to interact with the world wide web?
I don't use third-party assistive software / hardware, but my web browser (Firefox) is an invaluable tool, along with add-ons such as no-script which prevent the automatic behavior noted in #3.

2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?
N/A

3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you?
• Automatically playing music/video/sound on page load. Unexpected audio - especially when I'm wearing headphones - has a tendency to short-circuit my brain and end my browsing experience all together.
• Graphics which move. If it's a single, non-essential part of a site, such as animated user pictures, and the graphics aren't particularly large, I can learn to live with it. Multiple banners or sidebars, site titles and logos, flashing or scrolling text, or -- gods forbid -- animated backgrounds are likely to having me navigating away from a site as quickly as possible.
• Text-as-graphics. If text is actually text, I can use my browser to scale up the size/change the font so that it's readable. If your text is a graphic and I can't read it, then I'm going to leave and go elsewhere.
• Using font/background color combinations to make your site look "attractive." Combinations which do not have enough contrast, which have too much contrast, or which are "loud" are unreadable for me. As an added bonus, if your background is a graphic or if your text is in a frame offset, I can't use my browser preferences to change it to make it readable for me.
• Cluttered pages. Elements which are crammed together tend to flow into each other when I try to interpret them. At the same time, even if there's plenty of white-space around elements, too many elements on a page -- especially if elements are designed to be different rather than cohesive -- makes the page unusable for me.

4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life easier, and why are they so helpful for you?
• Simplicity. A layout which is clean and simple can be attractive, and also keeps the sensory input to a level I can manage.
• Versatility. Some days I need to scale up text sizes, other days I don't; being able to get the same use out of a site regardless of what sort of neurological day I'm having is a wonderful thing.
• Give me some sort of transcript or description with audio/video. If I can't handle auditory information at the moment, I still get something out of the site, and having an idea what I'm about to play gives me the choice of whether it's something worth my spoons.
• Make links meaningful. I will generally avoid clicking on a link if I don't know where it goes, because the unexpected video/audio/poorly designed page may be the thing that drives me away from my computer.

5. If you could make every website in the world follow one accessibility rule, what would that rule be, and why?
Simplicity is your friend. The more integral java/flash/scripting is to the functionality of your website, the harder it will be for me to use.

6. What are the things you would want an able-bodied programmer to know, understand, or experience about your assistive technology and/or your accessibility needs?
• Just because you can read it doesn't mean that I can; and just because I can read it today doesn't mean I'll be able to read it tomorrow. Simple things like testing how your site adjusts to an increased text size can make all the difference.
• Accessibility is about more than blind users who use readers. There are mobility issues, neurological issues, and low-vision issues -- to name a common few -- to consider as well.
• My computer, along with text-only interaction, is my accessibility tool. If I need your website for school/shopping/customer service and it's not accessible, my life is made inaccessible, rather than just my entertainment.

7. What are some things that people do in the name of accessibility that aren't very helpful, or actively make your experience worse?
Hard-code black text on a lot of white background. Too much white sets up a "glare" that makes pages unreadable for me. In a more global vein, hardcoding font and background colors at all, because what works for me often may not work for someone else, and we need the flexibility to use our own tools in order to use your site.

8. Is there anything I've forgotten to ask about but you think I should cover anyway?
viridian5: (Maze by James Jean)

[personal profile] viridian5 2010-10-30 02:20 (UTC)(link)
1. What assistive technology do you use at least semi-regularly to interact with the world wide web?

None. Aside from Dreamwidth and some Firefox sites, I can adjust my computer or theme enough to avoid eyestrain. I have some neurological issues with my eyes due to Chiari I malformation.


2. If you have accessibility needs that aren't covered by the former question, what are they?

Something about Dreamwidth's styles and a few Firefox sites, something about the light and the font, makes reading them hurt. I still haven't found a Dreamwidth layout/color scheme that isn't either painful for my eyes or difficult for my brain to retain information from, yet I had no such trouble at LiveJournal, GreatestJournal, or InsaneJournal. I've tried a few DW styles, but so far they all have this weird glow or smear. The somewhat adjusted Drifting Blue style my DW currently has is the closest to bearable I've found, but even then I find that when I compare the same DW and LJ posts made by Friends/Circlists I'm reading and noticing information in the LJ version that my eyes slide over on Dreamwidth. Part of it is that fonts seem to "bleed" at the edges on DW because it's like my eyes are interpreting the letters as being made up of tiny dots.

On my LJ I have a white font on a black background, but when I use the Light on Dark style on DW it's highly irritating. The white lettering burns and glows at the edges in ways my LJ one doesn't.

Whatever my default is in my computer, fonts only bother me on Dreamwidth and occasionally on some Firefox sites. Drifting might use Arial but somehow something within the style is still messing my brain up. I'm constantly missing memories of content from people's posts that suddenly appear when I read them on LJ instead.


3. What are the top five (or more!) things you hate when websites do, and why are they so annoying for you?

- Bright white backgrounds.
- Black serif fonts on bright white.
- Bright, bright colors in general.
- Bright colored font on bright background (like pink text on white background).
- Red text on black backgrounds.
- Tiny fonts. Blurry fonts.
- Visually crowded and busy pages.


4. What are the top five (or more) things that websites do that make your life easier, and why are they so helpful for you?

For the most part, dimming my computer a bit makes 98% of the internet work just fine for me, so this is a not applicable.


5. If you could make every website in the world follow one accessibility rule, what would that rule be, and why?

Try to make your site as readable to as many people as possible, even if you don't think the site looks "cool" that way.


6. What are the things you would want an able-bodied programmer to know, understand, or experience about your assistive technology and/or your accessibility needs?

I know I'm very light sensitive, but I don't know the mechanism that's behind the trouble I'm having reading Dreamwidth and its fonts. I'm not sure myself how the process of certain visual aspects hurting my eyes works so I can't explain it to other people.


7. What are some things that people do in the name of accessibility that aren't very helpful, or actively make your experience worse?

This isn't applicable to me as far as I know.


8. Is there anything I've forgotten to ask about but you think I should cover anyway?

Previously, people just suggested I do a trial and error on formats, fonts, and colors. The experimentation is frustrating and hurts my eyes and head badly. I've also tried to convert DW through Readability on Firefox, but that doesn't help me because I still get that font smear effect.
archangelbeth: An anthropomorphic feline face, with feathered wing ears, and glasses, in shades of gray. (Default)

[personal profile] archangelbeth 2010-10-30 18:13 (UTC)(link)
I am reading through these, and -- as I said in a comment above -- although I do not consider myself as having accessibility issues... I am agreeing with so much. Let me have my own font size (I groaned at the recent "CSS overrides browser settings" so-called "bugfix" that is in the latest code walkthrough on DW). Websites should be seen and not heard, and only speak when spoken to (or clicked specifically to indicate audio/video is desired). Transcripts of video are important; video tutorials should DIAF. Flash is evil and does not show up when I'm on my iPad anyway (yay!). Links should behave predictably and indicate what they're going to do. Moving, talking advertisements that auto-play should be grounds for getting off on a plea of Self-Defense and/or "he deserved it, yer honor." Floating toolbars need to sink and drown. I am no big fan of PDFs on the web, even though I can now open the things -- usually -- without having to download-and-open-in-PDF-viewer. Nav links should be at the top and bottom of multi-screen-height pages. Professional pages should be professionally edited for grammar and punctuation.

Pop-ups should only happen if I can then poke the screen with my finger and deliver an electric shock to the pop-up programmer. A painful electric shock.

Stuff should load in a finite time on dial-up -- or on my first-generation iPhone, with 2-3 bars of connectivity. The more images, the slower it goes. Bad! Bad! Bad!

Anything I can't browse on my iPad. Corollary -- if a user reports a problem with a particular page (such as infinite reloading of text), don't say, "Oh, yeah, that's a bug. You'll have to use some other browser/device." Say, at the least, "Yes, that's a bug. We have it on the list. Thank you for reporting it." Or even "Yes, that is an unfortunate bug with [obscure browser] that we haven't been able to fix without breaking the page for other browsers. We're very sorry. Thank you for reporting it."

Not Quite Accessibility: Every site that might have spammers use it (domain registration sites, email providers, etc.) should have a very clearly labeled "report spam to X@X.X" link. Somewhere. Or else I'm going to be sending spam reports to "Support@X.X" when I'm feeling testy. As a larger case -- if you have customers or bystanders who might need to contact you, make it easy. Don't hide the links. Don't make people guess whether "customer support" or "webmaster" would be more likely to be useful. And for TFSM's SAKE, do NOT require people to have an account with you to report a problem, or give "their" website, or whatever the frell it is that assumes non-customers will never contact you.

In short: I would rather have a nice, friendly 1995 page than a multi-media mess.
codeman38: Osaka from Azumanga Daioh enjoying sticking her face into a bed of flour a bit too much; captioned 'headdesk'. (headdesk)

[personal profile] codeman38 2010-10-30 20:54 (UTC)(link)
And for TFSM's SAKE, do NOT require people to have an account with you to report a problem

I remember seeing one site-- can't even remember what site it was anymore-- where in order to report an issue, you had to be a registered user of the site. Which doesn't quite work so well when the issue you're trying to report is on the registration form.

(no subject)

[personal profile] archangelbeth - 2010-10-31 03:07 (UTC) - Expand

Page 1 of 2

<< [1] [2] >>