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Re: Google - Introduction to Web Accessibility


From: Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Date: Sep 27, 2014 7:35PM

The color contrast SC (1.4.3) does not apply to Logos, so technically
they do not have to do anything about their logo from the
accessibility perspective.
But this is Google, they are teaching developers about accessibility,
and yet they fail to properly build accessibility into some of the
most widely used applications in the world.
I have no desire to just become a critic and a snarker, but I cannot
applaud Google for their efforts in the accessibility of their
online/web applications. My experiences reach from YouTube (why do
they not enable developers to specifically request the html5 embedded
YouTube player by default and have the Flash one always become a
keyboard trap) to the webkit skip links bug, to the way they
constantly change the Google Hangout interface, to the inaccessibility
of Google Docs and Google Sites. A few months ago I analyzed their use
of ARIA fot the html5 YouTube player and there was some systematic
misuse of it unfortunately.
AS a screen reader user (not using Chrome, sorry, but I cannot switch
my screen reader just when I am using Google),and as someone who does
accessibility audits and training on a daily basis, and see the
enormous efforts some fortune 500 companies are putting into the
accessibility of their web and moble presence, I am somewhat
frustrated, and at times downright hopeless, about Google and their
real accessibility commitment.
Recent updates to Android are making me a little more optimistic (they
are definitely headed in the right direction, unlike the web
accessibility in a certain other recent mobile O.S. update).

I really want Google to prove me dead wrong, and that hopefully in the
near future, but so far they have not done much to change my rather
synical view.
I hold Google to high standards. They are in a position to change the
lives of tens of millions of people with disabilities around the
world. They have all the resources to get it done easily, so I hope it
is just a matter of time before we see more of it happen.


On 9/26/14, John Hicks < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> 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
> code!
> 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
> :
>> 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
>> >> >> >>
> > > >

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