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Debee Norling

Fix Access Glitches For Screen Reader Users

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I know web development isn't easy; you have multiple browsers, multiple platforms, and for us blind users, the added complexity of multiple screen access solutions.

But especially as bookshare is a service that is widely promoted by BVI users, you need to insure that screen access glitches aren't permanent.

 

It might be a good idea to have a forum devoted to this topic. Both google and yahoo have accessibility forums where I can posted detailed descriptions of what's not working, steps Itook, browser and screen reader combinations I tried, and if I understand technically what's going on, some explanation of the problem.

 

For example, here in the forums, there are too many nested lists within lists. Users can't navigate to the element of "list" and find anything meaningful. It would be better to put the topics, or the subjects for the individual posts inside tables so the screen readers' table navigation keystrokes could be employed to rapidly navigate to the next topic.

 

Also, the aria landmarks need to be cleaned up. Some of them are just labeled "article" or "complimentary information". Put an aria landmark in front of each post and remove those that add no information. 

 

Also, there's some funkiness with the editor I haven't pinned down yet, seems like when I paste in a post, I get whatever I previously pasted. It's specific to the editor; I can open multiple notepad windows and paste fine there, but not in this editor. Also when I review what I've typed, the formatting seems to disappear, then reappears when I actually save the post. I find no way to preview before saving.

 

There are also some unlabeled links, appears they are for voting a post up or down. There are also quite a few other unlabeled graphics. If they are for decoration, no need to label them. The heading levels are good though.

 

I'm not a web access expert, just a savvy user. You need a real web access person to review my comments, because in some places, I'm probably mis-informe.

 

Really, the solution is to have a skilled screen reader user review this in a video or in-person conference along with a web developer who can both see and hear what's happening. Perhaps a monthly accessibility meetup with your web developers and volunteers who are interested in helping out? This is after all Silicon valley where you can easily gather together a few screen reader users, feed them some snacks and get the feedback in person.

 

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Hey Debee,

Thanks for this amazing feedback on the forum, as with all new ventures we do expect some growing pains with the newly launched forums and notes such as these help us immensely to make sure we tackle any and all issues our users are experiencing.  

Over the coming days and weeks we'll be resolving as many of these issues as possible and we do want to encourage anyone who may also have notes to please feel free to post them here or email us at feedback@bookshare.org.

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