WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Can web pages detect screen readers presence?


From: Cliff Tyllick
Date: Oct 27, 2010 12:00PM

Almost. Nearly. Sort of. Steve Faulkner has an enlightening post on the Paciello Group's site:

Developer Beware: Using Flash to Detect Screen Readers ( http://www.paciellogroup.com/blog/?p=61 )

When people have told me they are, that's how they say they're doing it. When pressed with information from Steve's post, they admit that it isn't exactly perfect.

Steve covers the issues far better than I could, but a short answer is that it's sort of like looking for tall blondes to detect Scandinavians at the state fair -- it sort of works, it has some basis in fact, but it is not completely valid.

That isn't to say that it's completely without advantage, but I'll let those who are doing it speak for themselves.


Cliff Tyllick
Usability assessment coordinator
Agency Communications Division
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

>>> On 10/27/2010 at 12:31 PM, in message < <EMAIL REMOVED> >, < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
Can a browser tell when an AT device (e.g., screen reader) is in use? If it can, how would a web app page get access to that information?


Claudia Alden Case
Web User Experience & Accessibility Consultant | Wells Fargo Bank
email: <EMAIL REMOVED> <mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> > | phone: (415) 371-4760 | mobile: (650) 208-0039