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Web Development Advent Calendars for 2020

This is why you never go to the (locally- and independently-owned) grocery store on an empty stomach. Web developers around the world have celebrated Saturnalia solstice Isaac Newton’s birthday Christmas with advent calendars covering web-related topics. As a result, you may recognize some of the ones listed below. Every year…

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Tags: accessibility, css, design, html, internet, standards, UX

More Accessible Skeletons

I had this post queued up for Halloween because, come on, skeletons, and then life did its thing and now it is a … Thanksgiving post? Many skeleton patterns do a poor job presenting themselves to screen reader users in any meaningful way. They often stuff aria-busy into their widget,…

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Tags: accessibility, css, html, pattern, usability, UX

Don’t Rely on YouTube Transcripts

Let’s establish something first — auto-generated captions are a problem. They almost guarantee a WCAG failure and can leave users more confused (or offended) than when they started. YouTube creates the transcript from the closed captions of a video (the text that overlays the video, as opposed to burned-in or…

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Tags: accessibility, video, WCAG

Under-Engineered Responsive Tables

I have written a bunch about responsive tables. Maybe too much. I keep trying to give developers the information they need to make informed decisions — ARIA attributes, screen reader & browser pairing results, bugs, and so on. I have spread things out over years of posts. I have filed…

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Tags: accessibility, html, pattern, standards, tables, WCAG

a11yTO Conf: CSS Display Properties versus HTML Semantics

If you attended my pre-recorded remote CSUN 2020 talk, then this talk will be familiar. I updated with the latest browsers, since February was six Chrome and nine Firefox versions ago. This talk was also only fifteen minutes, so I cut the videos and some other materials. Go check the…

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Tags: accessibility, browser, css, html, slides

Alternative Text for CSS Generated Content

Relying on images that come from CSS has always been risky from an accessibility perspective. CSS background images, in particular, must either be purely decorative or be described to the user in some way. The risk is no different for images coming from CSS generated content using content: url(foo.gif) (typically…

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Tags: accessibility, browser, css, standards, usability, UX

Dialog Focus in Screen Readers

Creating an accessible dialog on the web is trickier than it should be. Lack of support for the <dialog> element, the need for fundraisers to get inert into WebKit, inconsistent support for the ARIA dialog role, and other annoyances make them problematic. Scott O’Hara has spent a few years covering…

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Tags: accessibility, browser, html, usability, UX

Gutenberg Accessibility Costs WordPress the W3C Work

This is a slightly extended version of my Twitter thread. As the W3C has embarked on a full web property rebuild, its vendor (Studio24) indirectly announced earlier this month that it had dropped WordPress from consideration as a CMS. WPTavern took issue with this yesterday, and Studio24 responded today, (politely)…

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Tags: accessibility, standards, W3C, WordPress

VoiceOver on iOS 14 Supports Description Lists

The <dl> has existed since HTML+, or 1993, when it was called definition list. VoiceOver on iOS has existed since 2009, when it was introduced with the iPhone 3GS. Neither VoiceOver on iOS nor iPadOS had support for this core feature of HTML that was in existence for 16 years…

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Tags: Apple, browser, html, Safari, standards

Source Order Viewer in Edge 86

Update, 15 September 2020: Microsoft put together a more formal announcement at Introducing Source Order Viewer in the Microsoft Edge DevTools. It has some video examples and instructions to enable it. Edge 86 has introduced a feature that shows the source order of a page. You can read more about…

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Tags: accessibility, browser, css, Edge

Sortable Table Column Mad Libs

Visually and functionally sortable column headers on tables are straightforward (I have a post coming on that soon). However, making them accessible can be a bit frustrating. To clarify, making them accessible to screen readers is frustrating. There are two critical areas where screen readers fall down here: lack of…

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Tags: accessibility, ARIA, html, pattern, standards, tables, usability, UX

WCAG 2.1 Is the Current Standard, Not WCAG 2.0 — and WCAG 2.2 Is Coming

The title kind of says it all. WCAG 2.1 has been the standard for over two years — it was published in June 2018. If you rewind to when the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AGWG) was asking for feedback on its near-final 2.1 draft, many of the Success Criteria in…

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Tags: accessibility, rant, WCAG