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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

Speech Viewer Logs of Lies

The headline is intentional hyperbole, chosen mostly for the sloppy alliteration. When sighted users test with a screen reader it is common to rely on the visual output — checking to see where focus goes, confirming that controls behave, watching the spoken output in a text log. The problem is…

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Tags: accessibility, usability, UX

Be Wary of doc-subtitle

In early March, Steve Faulkner shared this nugget for making sub-headings: 👉If you want to semantically identify a heading subtitle, look no further than role="doc-subtitle" w3.org/TR/dpub-aria-1.0/#doc-subtitle #HTML #ARIA #WebDev pic.twitter.com/uaHcVRp6oz Steve Faulkner (@stevefaulkner) March 7, 2020 On its surface it looks pretty handy. Handy enough that Chris Ferdinandi wrote about…

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Tags: accessibility, ARIA, browser, html, pattern, rant, standards

What’s New in WCAG 2.2

The latest (and probably last) WCAG version 2 point release is in draft and the W3C is asking for comments and feedback by 18 September 2020 either via GitHub or via email. The new success criteria address cognitive and learning disabilities, mobile devices, and ebooks. Read more details in the…

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Tags: accessibility, standards, W3C, WAI, WCAG

ARIA Grid As an Anti-Pattern

First I will cover what an ARIA grid is per the ARIA specification, and then I will discuss two patterns proposed by the ARIA Authoring Practices. ARIA 1.1 Data Grids Layout Grids As Defined The Provided Examples 1. Simple List of Links 2. Pill List For a List of Message…

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Tags: accessibility, ARIA, ARIAbuse, rant, standards, UX