The State of Web Accessibility

I’ve been reading most of the posts about the accessibility for Discourse and I wanted to know if some people are actually working on fixing some issues.

Some small issues like “missing label / aria-label on the search input” or the “viewport set to maximum-scale=1.0 that disable the possibility for the user to zoom” should not be too much complicated to fix.

I think making Discourse 100% accessible would be awesome for users, the community but also for companies that use Discourse and wants to be 100% accessible.

I would be happy to help if needed.

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This one is already fixed, users can now zoom on mobile devices.

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It’s better to focus on specifics rather than a broad general topic.

I’m about to start working with a client who’s very concerned about accessibility.

I told them that the fastest way to make Discourse more accessible would be to (1) document actual problems that actual users (or perhaps a would-be user that is an actual person) are having, and (2) be a CDCK customer.

I suspect that accessibility is something that will be on the short list even if you are not a customer, but unless you can point to each specific problem and document how to know when it’s fixed, well, it can’t be fixed.

Accessibility can mean lots of things. A university I know replaced a whole bunch of useful web pages with 404s because they weren’t “accessible.” No point in letting people who aren’t blind know what programs are available, I guess.

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It’s possible to zoom indeed but every accessible tool will through an error :sleepy:

I usually distinguish 2 aspects: one that is related to the code (we have automated tools for that) and the accessibility in terms of usage. Things like navigation by keyboard can’t be really automated. So that could be explain in a doc. But in regards to the first aspect, enough tools exist to help to discover these issues. Axe-core, lighthouse, webhint (which use axe), and the more recent: Accessibility insight for web.

That was the goal of my question: knowing if someone had already created a document or worked on that. Web Accessibility is define in a clear ways by all the W3C with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Multiple countries and structures have been creating laws to be respected based on that documentation which is used as a reference.

The example you gave about that university doesn’t, in my experience, fit with what I know about Web Accessibility. 404 is not a failure in terms of accessibility.

Can I conclude based on the different comments that no one is actively working on fixing possible accessibility issues?

Indeed. My point was that accessibility standards have at least one institution “solving” accessibility problems by removing pages that people need or suggesting that faculty provide paper copies of documents that are inaccessible for some reason.

Replacing the internet with a big 404 doesn’t seem like a very good solution to me,but it appears to be a solution that some would support.

EDIT: And another thing.

No one wants a blind x-ray tech, but the nursing school gets dinged because they show students x-rays that don’t have a proper alt-tag describing the X-ray.

My wife won’t use video to demonstrate what effective teaching looks like or try new technologies in her class because she’ll come under fire for not having those videos be properly sub-titled.

The alternative, is to waste a whole bunch of money making materials accessible which takes away funding that could be better used to support the people who need it. In the last school where I worked we could have provided each deaf student a full-time support person with the budget that was being used to subtitle video for every single class in the university.

I think that what I’m saying is that I’m all for seeing that every piece of software is accessible. Seeing that every piece of content is accessible is another issue.

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This is now fixed for the test tools. We were serving maximum-scale=1.0 on desktops, and that was raising a red flag.

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Thank you so much @pmusaraj, I really appreciated that you took the time to fix it!

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The topic needs specifics. I do not like kitchen sink topics because they don’t tend to result in useful work. So if you can add more specifics that’d be super helpful.

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No problem, I will give you all the details in a document so that you can review it and we can discuss possible fixes. Thanks @codinghorror!

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