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Re: Voiceover detection in JavaScript

From: <deborah.kaplan@suberic.net>
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2013 09:57:54 -0400 (EDT)
To: Bryan Garaventa <bryan.garaventa@whatsock.com>
cc: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com>, Alastair Campbell <alastc@gmail.com>, WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.1304030953130.4936@suberic.net>
On Tue, 2 Apr 2013, Bryan Garaventa wrote:

> Yes, my point however stands, the more options that are available for 
> developers to make web technologies more accessible, the easier it will be to 
> accomplish.
> If the argument here is that this is a bad idea, please explain why.

This is a bad idea because web developers end up getting hung up
on one definition of what "more accessible" means, in ways that
actively make things worse for people with other accessibility
needs, even leaving aside the other comments people have made
about superimposing a user experience on people just because they
are using voiceover.

Remember all those years when web developers assumed that
"accessibility needs" meant "using JAWS," and then designed pages
that specifically required JAWS functionality for any of the
accessibility to work? This is the exact same thing, except
changing the screen reader in question. For years, there was a
trend on sites to hide accessibility resources from anyone not
using a screenreader (off-page positioning, usually), making that
information about access keys or the like be completely hidden
from people using keyboard, voice, or magnification. But if you
talk to the developers of those sites, they tell you that they
have made the site accessible, because in their mind, they have
customized accessibility around the only use case they think of.

As others have said, the page design you described is equally bad
for people who aren't using voice over, so why should you
encourage developers to fix it for only one subset of the people
who have accessibility problems with it?

-Deborah Kaplan
Accessibility Team Co-Lead
Dreamwidth Studios, LLC
Received on Wednesday, 3 April 2013 13:58:27 UTC

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