Demand Refunds for Invalid HTML in Courses

It is easier than ever to follow web standards and be confident that, for the most part, modern browsers will render it the same. Accessibility standards are enshrined in law the world over, making standards-based semantic and structural mark-up the safest and easiest path. If you do HTML correctly then most of the accessibility comes along for free.

Even novel new (or reinvented) interactions generally have existing patterns you can steal that show you how the HTML should look, what ARIA attributes you need, how to handle keyboard interaction, and how the interface should behave.

This kind of experience is unacceptable:

Billy Gregory and Karl Groves standing in front of a project slide that reads “WTF A11y?” If you are taking courses to improve your development skills or learn new technologies, whether online or in real life, you should be comfortable demanding a refund if you know the material is wrong. You should also share when you come across courses that get it wrong to save others the time and money.

If the person leading the instruction does not understand basic HTML nor CSS, how can that person also understand how to apply the course’s tools or technologies to the overall web stack? If you can see the errors in the code, why are you listening to an instructor who clearly knows less than you on this topic?

Of course there will be exceptions. Feel free to spend time thinking them up, especially if you are the one leading any kind of training that outputs invalid, inaccessible code. Just don’t expect me to pay for it, let alone suggest anyone else does.

Adapted from a Twitter mini-rant.

Update: October 1, 2018

I have no idea if the issues CBS is reporting at Woz U are genuine or exceptions, but everything I said above still applies. If you took courses from WOz U and the content was crap, demand your money back.

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