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Re: Google - Introduction to Web Accessibility

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From: Mallory van Achterberg
Date: Sep 26, 2014 6:47AM


I kinda wish they'd change the title a bit.

The intro text states clearly that this is visual accessibility
only. The title is way bigger though :P
We (the webdev community in general) already have the issue of
accessibility being equated to blind/vi visitors.

It's also a bit unfortunate (though probably understandable) that
they use this course to promote their own "screen reader", which
unlike what they say, is in many ways quite different from the
screen readers visitors will be using. I'd honestly rather they
encouraged devs to install NVDA. On the other hand, Google can
probably counter with "ChromeVox will be platform independent",
so they wouldn't need to list various screen readers per OS.
Also, most of the things they tell developers to test using
ChromeVox should be pretty similar to real screen readers, as
far as letting devs know that they've coded something well.

I'm assuming they totally skipped the usefulness of skip links
because Chrome and other Blink browsers still have that crappy
in-page-link bug since forever.
https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=262171
(don't be fooled by the date. This is from KHTML originally. Yeah)
Now there I'd totally be snarky-snark :P

On the other hand, learning to use the developer tools (which
I have and don't recall explicitly installing... or did I a very
long time ago?) is something I think is valuable to developers.
I remember the original Firebug and following a tutorial showing
how to set breakpoints and inspect Javascript with it. This took
me as a developer from using alerts for po'-man debugging to actually
learning how to debug. The Accessibility Developer Tools could
be a similar experience for other devs.

There's also a noted lack of nuance in the course (users are
crudely grouped into "cannot see at all and using a screen
reader" and "can see just fine but user keyboard"), but then,
this is meant for beginners.

It's also quite heavy on ARIA, but early on they do start out
with "use the right HTML elements" which is indeed the first
place a developer needs to start. It also has code examples of
things lots of devs actually make, like modal dialogs.

I think ultimately I'd recommend this course for fellow developers
who know absolutely zilch about web accessibility, with the loud
caveat that this is focussed on one, and not the most common,
disability.
I'm sure Google focussed on blind/low-vision partially because
many things a developer would do is very code-oriented. That
appeals to developers more than "writing text more simply" or
other things we need to do to follow WCAG guidelines.

> On 26 September 2014 00:23, Sundby, Valorie < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> Will Google make a real commitment or just talk the talk?

On their own applications? Or Android? Not anytime soon.

But this is just edjumacational whatsits for developers, and in that
it seems to be well-made.

_mallory