WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Web development; How to identify if a screen reader is in use


From: Mallory
Date: May 17, 2017 1:44AM

> On Mon, May 15, 2017 at 12:59 PM Jeremy Echols < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> wrote:
>"Now you want to split it into AT users and non-AT users?"

I don't think that's the question we want to ask. It's more like, if
some of the things on your single site for both mobile and desktop has
some parts that work terribly on mobile still and you don't know any way
to fix it except by offering a version that works better for [your idea
of mobile] but is kinda sucky, clunky, unweildy on desktop... the
shortsighted step is to ask "can I detect mobile?" But that's not what
we really want to ask.

Instead of detecting [mobile, touchscreen, AT, network speed], what we
*really* want are better ways to build things and better support by
browsers, AT, and the specs of HTML, CSS etc so that our "one thing"
that we'd like to build for reasons of cost and maintenance actually
does work, and not half-works or kinda works if the user tries twice as
hard, but just works.

Sometimes if you're horribly creative, you can build a bit of a
monstrosity that accounts for all the major players and you get awards
for making a great experience for all your users. But we're not all
creative geniuses, and not all those needing a technical solution can
afford to hire geniuses, so it would be much nicer and better for
everyone if these solutions could be simpler and better supported.

Every time someone asks "is there a way we could detect AT?" the real
question behind it is usually "AT doesn't work well with this thingie,
how can I get this thingie to work or what is the alternative that
actually works for everyone?" So maybe we can turn that energy around
and get some better support for things?

No, we don't *really* care what browser, AT, OS people are using. We
don't care if they're wearing pants. That's just what comes out when
stuff doesn't work and we're grasping for solutions in desperation.