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Re: AW: "Bypass Blocks" Question

From: <deborah.kaplan@suberic.net>
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 2015 13:09:17 -0400 (EDT)
To: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
cc: Web Accessibility Initiative Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <alpine.DEB.2.10.1507201301540.32250@suberic.net>
On Mon, 20 Jul 2015, Phill Jenkins wrote:
> 1. It would be better to educate end users on how to install and use the plug-ins available,

This is simply impractical. Most users outside of technology don't use plug-ins/extensions, don't know they exist, don't know how to search for them, and don't know how to decide which ones are safe or useful for them. This is unlikely to change.

The most quickly growing pool of people with accessibility needs will always include people who are elderly, which is unlikely to be a pool of people who will necessarily be excited about searching for and installing plug-ins and extensions. A huge number of people with disabilities live in poverty, and these are not necessarily people who have the resources to make it reasonable to prioritize searching for browser extensions.

The browsers should supply basic accessibility. This is not unreasonable. You should not need add-ons and extensions to get accessibility.

> So the problem seems to be "us", the accessibility community, for not posting resources about the various capabilities in the browsers, plug-in, and extensions, including
> JavaScript frameworks for keyboard navigation for end-users.  Below is an initial resource list.  Please copy, add-to, and post to increase the community awareness.  We are
> never going to make the progress we need to by asking the millions of web sites to add skip nav links when a relatively very few browsers and open source community folks can
> solve the problem for us.  Asking web site owners to go beyond using the structural mark-up and adding skip nav links too, that we have been asking for for over a decade, is
> not working.  Lets all try to be more efficient in our recommendations by using all the guidelines we have, including UAAG .

We, the accessibility community, are never going to be reaching every person with an accessibility need. It's not going to happen. It's not that we aren't trying hard enough, and it's not that we don't have the resources -- it is that we cannot do it.

You are right that asking site owners to add skip nav links is not working. Nor should they need to. If they write in semantically correct HTML 5, with ARIA markup where appropriate, there is absolutely no reason that the user agents couldn't create the keyboard skip navigation from that markup. We should not be asking site owners to work around what are effectively browser bugs; we should demand fixes in the browsers. We should not be relying on add-ons and extensions that most users will never discover; we should demand fixes in the browsers. As you say, with your point 2:

> 2. It would be more efficient to request more capabilities from the developers / manufacturers of the relatively very few browsers.  

A small number of browsers are the most efficient way to fix the problem.

Deborah Kaplan
Received on Monday, 20 July 2015 17:09:47 UTC

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