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Denise ([staff profile] denise) wrote in [site community profile] dw_accessibility2013-01-15 10:39 pm

Inaccessible websites?

I'm doing a talk on web accessibility at LinuxConf Australia and would like to give specific examples!

So, gimme your best examples of websites with specific accessibility problems that drive you nuts. Use of tabular data where it doesn't make any sense, sites with horrible contrast or that won't let you change font sizes, restaurant websites that are entirely flash-based, etc, etc.

Also, if anybody knows of good illustrative videos of a) people listening to a screenreader and b) people dictating to their computer, point me at 'em?

[personal profile] treeowl 2013-01-17 08:54 am (UTC)(link)
It doesn't seem quite fair to blame websites that use Javascript responsibly. It's a key technology of the modern web. Now sites that do absurd things with it, or that present their content in Flash, are a whole different story.
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[personal profile] deborah 2013-01-17 03:58 pm (UTC)(link)
D asked for websites with specific accessibility problems which drive us nuts, and I gave her one. That is not "blaming websites"; if we can't talk about accessibility issues we have when we are asked about them, how will we advance? Moreover, I don't believe that one is using JavaScript responsibly if a site is entirely nonfunctional without JavaScript.

When I spent this past year in a key responsibility position for redesigning a website from the ground up, my instruction to the developers was that key content needed to be discoverable and viewable with JavaScript turned off. It didn't need to be pretty, it didn't need to be elegant, it didn't need to be as pleasant a user experience as if javascript was turned on. Clearly all kinds of functionality such as light boxes and sliders didn't need to be reproduced. But what I requested -- and what they easily delivered, even though it took extra time -- was that you could still use the search box and view the text or images on the page.

Yes, it takes more time -- although not a lot more time, if what you are talking about is making a search box work without JavaScript, or the text of your article appear on the page without JS. But accessibility does take more time. Not a lot more, if it's a key element of the design from the ground up.

And of course some functionality will not be available to people who have JavaScript turned off. Heck, some functionality will always be unavailable to people who have Flash turned off.

Not to mention, from a pure business perspective, content which is unavailable without JavaScript is usually invisible to search engines. SEO demands revealing your text content to the stupidest browser available, that is, a crawler. And while you can jump through hoops to make your text available to crawlers, you might as well jump through the same hoops and make your text available without JavaScript.

[personal profile] treeowl 2013-01-17 09:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Touché. I wasn't properly keeping in mind the distinction between using Javascript and relying on it, which is an entirely different matter. Yes, websites should be usable without Javascript and without CSS. Pet peeve: the limitations inherent to CSS make it difficult to impossible to produce certain visually reasonable layouts without mucking up the HTML structure so it's a bit wonky without CSS.
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[personal profile] cellio 2013-01-20 08:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Flash is the poster child for anti-accessibility. Nothing you can do through the browser has any effect on it; you get the colors, font sizes, and content-area sizes that the developer of the flash content hard-wired, and that's that. (Unfortunately, the worst offenders that I know of off-hand are things I'm required to use on our corporate network, which doesn't help for this query.)