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Re: Google - Introduction to Web Accessibility


From: John Hicks
Date: Sep 26, 2014 7:21AM

On the greater subject of being a good faith promoter of accessibility, I
am not sure Google really fist the bill. Anybody have recent experience in
GWT (Google Widget Toolkit) ?

I was working on a few different apps that used it about 4 years ago and
there were consistent problems (accessibility oversights) built in to the

Maybe it has been improved. But if not...

It's not about polemics, but waving the accessibilty flag does open you up
to justified scrutiny.

2014-09-26 14:47 GMT+02:00 Mallory van Achterberg < <EMAIL REMOVED> >

> 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
> > > >