Accessibility overlode!

we’re being bombarded with accessibility at the moment.

Look at the default ,a href=”http://www.wordpress.net” target=”_blank”>WordPress theme.

ON the page, you have headings for everything. This makes it really easy to jump around the site when your using a modern screen reader that supports single letter navigation. For example, you can press h for headings, e for edit fields, b for buttons etc. Or, you can press 1 to cycle through the headings at level 1, 2 for headings at level 2 and so on. Heading and HTML element navigation has revolutionized the way that screen readers navigate the Internet.

Now though, we have headings and these landmark things. Look at this:

  • banner landmark
  • navigation landmark
  • main landmark
  • complementary landmark
  • search landmark

Now, when you read the word press website, you hear something like this:
Each new line signifies a press of the down arrow button:

This is exactly what a screen reader user will hear when they read the word press page:

A picture paints a thousand words in the blog of someone | Just another WordPress site

banner landmark
A picture paints a thousand words in the blog of someone

Just another WordPress site
navigation landmark
Skip to content
list of 2 items
Home
About
list end

main landmark
This is a test post.
Posted on
August 17, 2010
by
someone

This is a test post.  hopefully the gallery is shown.

[Show as slideshow]
[View with PicLens]
attick-ladder
showing-window
Posted in
Uncategorized
| Tagged
[nggallery id=1]
|
Leave a comment
|
Edit

Hello world!
Posted on
August 16, 2010
by
someone

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Posted in
Uncategorized
|
1 Comment
|
Edit
complementary landmark
list of 6 items
search landmark
Search for:
 
Search
Recent Posts
list of 2 items nesting level 1
• This is a test post.
• Hello world!
list end nesting level 1
Recent Comments
list of 1 items nesting level 1
• Mr WordPress
on
Hello world!
list end nesting level 1
Archives
list of 1 items nesting level 1
• August 2010
list end nesting level 1
Categories
list of 1 items nesting level 1
• Uncategorized
list end nesting level 1
Meta
list of 5 items nesting level 1
• Site Admin
• Log out
• Entries RSS
• Comments RSS
• WordPress.org
list end nesting level 1
list end
content info landmark
A picture paints a thousand words in the blog of someone
Proudly powered by WordPress.

The screen reader user doesn’t need to get all this information. Only some of it is really necessary. Some of it is only really important when they want to access the page quickly.

I think we’re suffering from accessibility overlode at the moment.

I don’t think this is the fault of the website developers though. Let me be very clear about this. They have done a fantastic job lately. I don’t know one designer who doesn’t take accessibility very seriously and they should be commended for this new responsibility.

There however needs to be more customized verbosity in screen readers such as Jaws for Windows to allow users to quickly disable notification of all this information so they can get the most from browsing as quickly as possible.

I would be interested in others thought’s about this topic.


One Response to Accessibility overlode!

  1. Avatar abbyAnonymous
    abbyAnonymous says:

    I was overloaded when reading the blog. hahahehe interesting though.