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Re: Can web pages detect screen readers presence?


From: Hoffman, Allen
Date: Oct 27, 2010 2:03PM

Most of the times I see this used, it just changes one set of
inaccessibility for another.
As a screen reader user I really don't want people changing their
output, making it less, etc, without my involvement in the process. I'd
much more like to have the output start accessible for everyone and
provide more customization features that may be better for me than
another user.

-----Original Message-----
From: Cliff Tyllick [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 1:56 PM
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Can web pages detect screen readers presence?

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
rp>, < <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
email: <EMAIL REMOVED> <mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> >
| phone: (415) 371-4760 | mobile: (650) 208-0039