WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: Screen Readers as a Development Tool for Web Developers


From: Eades, Terri
Date: Jul 29, 2015 9:16AM

I have to agree with Guy. I am a web developer in the Marketing department of a small community college and $1,000 is a lot of money. I don't have a Mac, I'm on Adobe CS 5, and I don't have the other luxuries that were cited. (That might be for designers who work at an agency.) I would like to test on JAWS since it is more widely used, but we just can't afford it at this time.


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Guy Hickling
Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2015 3:46 PM
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Screen Readers as a Development Tool for Web Developers

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.