Autoplay is a bad idea not just for accessibility but for usability and general sanity while browsing. This article will explain what the problems are, where to find backup for arguments and what you can do if autoplay is a must have. Continue reading
The W3C released the Candidate Recommendation of the WCAG 2.0 at the end of last month. Since then there have been numerous posts on this fact, but nothing up-to-date on the guidelines themselves. I haven’t really seen anything new since a draft version I first started looking at in July last year. Here is my super quick overview of the documentation and guidelines – and by super quick I mean just that, there is no specific detail walk through of each success criterion. Continue reading
Job Access With Speech
On Monday I went to a demonstration of JAWS screen-reader, that I had heard about through The Web Standards Group discussion list a few weeks ago. It was presented by Steve Green, the director of Test Partners who provide manual testing services (functionality, compatibility and accessibility). Steve had enlisted the help of John (registered blind), who I believe is usually involved in the testing of their clients’ websites/applications, to be the “screen-reader user”.
I found the session extremely interesting and learnt a lot from it. The main thing I wanted to come away with was how to use JAWS myself and to understand how a vision-impaired user would go about browsing a website. Continue reading
Take a straight forward question that is usually asked during any online sign-up form:
It is marked up according to the WCAG Priority 2 checkpoint 12.4 that says you should associate labels explicitly with their controls (i.e. by using the label element).
<input type="radio" id="male" name="gender" /> <label for="male">Male</label>
However, I want to explicitly link the original question (gender) with the 2 possible answers and this isn’t possible using the label element because there can be
only one label and one control per line. There are a couple of solutions. Continue reading
This is quite a specific tip, but one that caused me quite a bit of frustration.
Each time I run the JAWS screen-reader software (version 7.0) on Windows XP, it nearly doubles the size of some icons on the screen. The ones that you find next to the clock in the taskbar, the quick-launch icons and also the small icon in the top left-hand corner of each window. They remain enlarged even when you exit JAWS and the computer restarted.
I’m not sure if this is a bug in JAWS or just something it should be doing to help users (I’m pretty sure it’s a bug). I can’t find any other documentation on why it would happen, only a couple of other users with the same problem in JAWS 6.0, who were trying to find a solution. Continue reading
Google recently unveiled it’s Accessible Search, which prioritises the search results to favour pages that are more easily used by partially-sighted and blind users. Good work, but it was too much to expect that they would listen to their own advice and ensure their own pages conformed to any standards or took account of any accessibility guidelines. Continue reading
WCAG Accessibility Checkpoints
The WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 1.0, Priority 2 Checkpoint 13.2, states that you should:
Provide metadata to add semantic information to pages and sites.
Don’t disregard this checkpoint because of the word “metadata”, as I first did before I looked into what it really meant. I was associating it with metatags packed with keywords to improve SEO, which is now virtually obsolete for this purpose. Continue reading
Recently I was asked how I go about testing the accessibility of a website, something I have only done seriously for a few months. I use a combination of checklists, tools and common sense to draw up a document that explains where things are going wrong and provides guidance or tips to correct the problems.
Here I discuss the tools of my trade with advice thrown in for free. Continue reading
Toggle via Radio Buttons
I want to allow the user to search within all sections of a website or to search within one or more chosen groups. The list should only be visible when the user selects that they want to choose groups. To do this I am going to use 2 radio buttons to toggle the unordered list of sections on and off. Continue reading
WCAG Accessibility Checkpoints
The WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 1.0, Priority 2 Checkpoint 3.4, states that you should:
Use relative rather than absolute units in markup language attribute values and style sheet property values
Originally I thought this meant that anywhere a font size, width or height was mentioned I only had the option of use ems or percentages. Then this seemed to be saying to me to design all sites using a liquid layout, which was strange as people were always saying that the guidelines do not dictate design. Continue reading