WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: Screen Readers as a Development Tool for Web Developers


From: Guy Hickling
Date: Jul 28, 2015 3:45PM

I feel honoured to talk with the earlier correspondent, I don't often get
to mix with people who can dismiss nearly a thousand quid so casually! I
wish I could do the same. However, I do think it is good to remember what
accessibility developers are doing here, often at their own cost with no
assistance from an employer. We are helping blind people which, I think,
ought to qualify us for some consideration from manufacturers of the tools.

But are we just helping blind people? No, we are also helping Freedom
Scientific, the makers of JAWS. If we can test our websites to be sure they
work with their product, that will make for a better experience for their
users. This in turn would encourage other blind people to select that
reader, and help it to retain it's currently top position.

On the other hand, if we developers have to restrict ourselves to testing
with NVDA, and any screen reader that bothers to assist developers by
providing developer copies, because of the cost otherwise, then NVDA users
will increasingly have the better experience while JAWS users experience
glitches and untested for bugs in the websites they visit. That can only
help NVDA continue to gain in popularity.

I would have thought that simple self-interest would encourage Freedom
Scientific to assist developers better, but apparently not.