WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Accessibility and outdated AT


From: Birkir RĂșnar Gunnarsson
Date: Dec 18, 2010 12:42PM

Generally I would not agree as much, as the upgrade and maintenance
costs of screen reading can be daunting. But the introduction of NVDA
which is surprisingly powerful and on the forefront with regards to
many web technologies, enables users to take advantage of most of the
advanced features for free (no, I am not affiliated with NVDA or NV
Access at all, except just being a happy part time user).
My Jaws 12/NVDA combo serves me very well as a technology power user.
I think testing accessibility with NVDA in addition to a more
traditional screen reader is a good practice and I try to do that for
all sites I am asked to evaluate (Jaws 12, Hal 11 and NVDA is what I
test with).
Its use is spreading and, at this time, they are the best open source
solution I have tried out there. Of course testing with Thunder, or
other open source solution, is absolutely possible.
But we recommend all users have an NVDA copy either on their computers
or a portable USB key and use it to compliment their installed screen
reader in certain scenarios.

On 12/18/10, <EMAIL REMOVED> < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> I agree. The user needs to take some responsibility here. As a screen reader
> user I have JAWS under regular service maintenance agreement and update
> other programs regularly. There are certain expenses involved in living and
> in my case it involves updating technology as it comes up to make the most
> of accessibility and other developments. This rates on the same level as
> taking care of spoiled cats!
> Chuck
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jared Smith" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> To: "WebAIM Discussion List" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2010 7:25 PM
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessibility and outdated AT
>> On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 1:48 PM, Tony Trott wrote:
>>> Essentially, I guess I'm asking if web accessibility is required to be
>>> backwards-
>> This is a difficult question and one without a straightforward answer.
>> Certainly you would want to support older technologies to a point that
>> is reasonable. But you must draw the line somewhere. There are many
>> things (Flash, PDF, much scripted content, ARIA-based interfaces,
>> etc.) that just cannot be made accessible to antiquated technologies.
>> Few people bother any more to ensure full compatibility with IE5 or
>> Netscape 4 - and JAWS 6 (a full 6 versions behind the current version
>> 12) would, in my opinion, be in the same category as these browsers.
>> Our survey (http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey2/) showed
>> that 83% of respondents updated their screen reader within the
>> previous year, but we know that there are many users with very old
>> screen readers. Fortunately, screen reader support is not a binary
>> state with most web content (excluding Flash, PDF, etc.) - it's not
>> like someone with JAWS 6 wouldn't get anything on your web page.
>> Instead, they simply would not get many of the enhanced accessibility
>> features and support that users of newer screen readers would. This,
>> for the most part, is their problem, not yours.
>> Jared Smith
>> WebAIM