Category Archives: Accessibility

“Should we detect screen readers?” is the wrong question

The recent release of WebAIM’s 5th Screen Reader User Survey has heated up a recently simmering debate regarding whether or not it should be possible to detect screen readers. Currently there are no reliable means of determining whether a user with disabilities is visiting your site and, specific to screen readers, this is because that […]

Everything you know about accessibility testing is wrong (part 2)

In Everything you know about accessibility testing is wrong (part 1) I left off talking about automated accessibility testing tools. It is my feeling that a tool of any kind absolutely must deliver on its promise to make the user more effective at the task they need the tool to perform. As a woodworker, I […]

Everything you know about accessibility testing is wrong (part 1)

My first experience with accessibility and, therefore, accessibility testing, came from Bobby. In 1995, CAST launched Bobby as a free public service to make the burgeoning World Wide Web more accessible to individuals with disabilities. Over the next decade, Bobby helped novice and professional Web designers analyze and make improvements to millions of Web pages. […]

Quick Tip: Text Characters as Visual Separators

I’ve been running into these pretty frequently lately so I figured I’d throw something together about it: text characters as visual separators.  As much as I’d like to say modern development practices have grown beyond such things, it apparently hasn’t. <ul> <li>Foo</li> <li>|</li> <li>Bar</li> <li>|</li> <li>Bat</li> <li>|</li> <li>Baz</li> </ul> The above code structure, obviously scrubbed […]

US DOJ Intervenes in NFB et al. vs. HR Block Case

From the US Department of Justice’s ADA office: The Justice Department announced today that it seeks to intervene in a lawsuit against HRB Digital, LLC and HRB Tax Group, Inc. (“Block”) in federal court in Boston to remedy violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The department’s proposed complaint in intervention in the lawsuit, […]

Issue Reporting: How to ensure your issue report is successful

Issue tracking systems employed by development teams can often be configured in a variety of ways, but they almost always have the same basic configuration that asks for essentially the same information. When creating an issue in an issue tracking system, the following guidance should be followed to ensure that developers can quickly and accurately […]

Taking Accessibility to the Mainstream

For years I’ve been saying that accessibility people need to branch out to the mainstream. Preaching to the converted doesn’t really help much when it comes to increasing mainstream adoption of accessibility as a way of thinking. Developers typically don’t have any depth of understanding when it comes to accessibility. Developers need to know … […]

The End User Uber Alles or, you got your reality in my idealism

As a web developer, one of the biggest sources of frustration is developing a website that works across the wide array of user agents and operating systems the visitor may be using. The web standards movement was supposed to "fix" that. It did make good progress and then CSS3, HTML5, and HTML5 multimedia and mobile […]

Web Accessibility Testing Tools: Who tests the DOM?

Earlier this year, I put up the Mother Effing Tool Confuser to help those who may be looking for an automated web accessibility testing tool make an educated decision. I’ve recently decided to do some of my own testing to see which tools do and don’t test the DOM. To do so, I used the […]

CSS generated content is not content

CSS is designed primarily to enable the separation of document content (written in HTML or a similar markup language) from document presentation. Prior to CSS, nearly all of the presentational attributes of HTML documents were contained within the HTML markup; all font colors, background styles, element alignments, borders and sizes had to be explicitly described, […]