Google Wave is “totally inaccessible.” According to Web Accessibility in Mind’s (Web AIM) Jared Smith.
Smith’s list of Google Wave’s inaccessible aspects is quite disappointing:
- Alternative text is not provided for any images.
- Background images are used to convey content.
- Roles, states, and other accessibility properties are not defined.
- There is no document or heading structure or semantics. None! Not even a list!
- Form elements do not have labels or titles.
- Keyboard focus indication is hidden, making keyboard navigation nearly impossible.
- Most interactive elements are not in the tab order or do not respond to keyboard activation.
- Keyboard focus is often trapped, requiring the page or browser to be closed to resume keyboard navigation.
- The application becomes unusable and unreadable when text size is increased only slightly.
I concur with Smith’s hope that Google Wave will be made into an accessible product. It’s too bad that accessibility was not part of the initial framework of Google Wave. How many times do we have to experience something built with either brick/mortar or “1’s and 0’s” that is not accessible for all users? Ableism is so pervasive. C’mon Google…you can’t really be “great” if you’re not making great things for everyone to use.
I’m a big fan of the Common Craft Show. They take complicated concepts and translate them into “plain English”. I was perusing the Common Craft site yesterday when I noticed that they provide links to subtitled versions of their videos via dotSUB.
Here’s an entertaining and accessible (for people with auditory impairments) video called “Zombies in plain English”:
Another benefit of dotSUB is that they provide a transcript of the subtitled text in plain text. This plain text is extremely useful for users who want to access the Common Craft Show content using a screenreader like JAWS or Window-Eyes.
Target settles lawsuit with advocates for blind
Target Corp. will revamp its Web site to make it more accessible for the blind and pay $6 million in damages to plaintiffs who joined a class action lawsuit against the retailer, under a settlement announced yesterday with the National Federation of the Blind.
Virginia Tech Tries ‘Compliance Sheriff’ To Improve Web Site Accessibility
Virginia Tech has selected HiSoftware’s Compliance Sheriff to address management of its Web site accessibility. Compliance Sheriff is a browser-based service that crawls a Web site and compares pages against a user-defined set of criteria. The tool will compare the school’s site against world-wide accessibility guidelines such as the federally-defined Section 508, which addresses how technology should be designed to enable its use by people with physical impairments, and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0/2.0, from the World Wide Web Consortium, which address Web content and mobile Web applications.
Multimedia/Flash Screenreader Tango
Screenreaders don’t like flash, and I’ve invested huge amounts of time to try and satisfy the requirements of a flash (SlideshowPro) feature spot being “cool” and compliant at the same time. It ain’t easy folks. And there are quite a few universities deploying homepage flash content that isn’t accessible. And you know who you are.
WebAnywhere provides access to the web from any machine with a modern web browser and some way to play audio. It is useful for web developers who would like to check their pages for accessibility and for blind web users using a computer where no other screen reader is available.