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Comments for WebAIM Blog



The WebAIM Web Accessibility Blog



Last Build Date: Fri, 08 Sep 2017 14:56:47 +0000

 



Comment on Screen Readers and CSS: Are We Going Out of Style (and into Content)? by Cranston

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 14:56:47 +0000

I am currently involved in a pretty large scale accessibility overhaul for a number of government sites. The inconsistencies between various screen readers / browsers / OSs is almost laughable. It seems absurd to me that a law could be passed that requires compliance with undefined and inconsistent specifications. So far, it seems following wcag/w3c documentation is only a start and is only actually helpful in the most simple situations. Tables have been a nightmare (if anyone can come up with a decent solution for a responsive, mobile-friendly table that works with screenreaders that isn't more aria- attributes than actual table markup I'm all ears). Description lists just come out as a block of text. Pseudo elements are read by screenreaders (and as far as I can tell, there's no way to hide them from screenreaders). Changing the display: property of an element can cause screenreaders to present them differently. Flexbox order vs DOM order - seems to depend... And getting one screen reader to behave correctly doesn't mean others will. Voiceover is inconsistent between desktop and mobile. Each screenreader can be configured differently as well, so whats the standard there. I think everyone should be able to access whatever content they want in a way that's appropriate for them, but this feels a little like we're being legally required to support a very broad category of software with seemingly few predictable standards.



Comment on Screen Readers and CSS: Are We Going Out of Style (and into Content)? by Markus

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 11:42:15 +0000

This is very helpful, thank you! The only thing that surprises me is that it seems generated content was outright bad. If I get Jens Meiert right, for example, then there are cases when generated content is useful. The cases Karl Groves mentions, as with marking PDF links, look acceptable for Meiert. Again if I understand them well, maybe they can comment.



Comment on Screen Readers and CSS: Are We Going Out of Style (and into Content)? by Gareth

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 06:54:50 +0000

I always turn CSS off, and assume that's what a screen reader is going to "see" and read out. That might not be a 100% accurate assumption, but HTML is for content and CSS is for design (seperation of concerns). A screen reader should be interested in the former and not so much the latter.



Comment on Screen Readers and CSS: Are We Going Out of Style (and into Content)? by Susanna

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 14:41:42 +0000

But what about ::before and ::after generated content? That's particularly what I'd like to know. I manage a website with many different users who are very very bad at remembering to do things like indicating PDF links. I'd like to add a filetype indicator as generated content in the CSS, but have understood that it will be skipped by screenreaders, is that correct?



Comment on Screen Readers and CSS: Are We Going Out of Style (and into Content)? by jojo esposa

Mon, 04 Sep 2017 01:37:49 +0000

This is a surprise! I knew that screen readers read codes in a linear way and CSS don't get in the way. Thank you very much for this very useful info.



Comment on Screen Readers and CSS: Are We Going Out of Style (and into Content)? by Lee Kowalkowski

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 09:52:34 +0000

I find it much better, long term, to ensure as much as possible, no - everything - is correct in source HTML. For example, prefer removing/inserting content over hiding/showing. I can see that hidden content, and sometimes, without hacking, some sites just glitch and suddenly it's there. I've also seen many cases where authors have visually hidden content intended only for screen reader users when it would actually be of benefit to sighted users, too, even automatically-hidden content like image alt text. Also, if you're into industry-strength workmanship, CSS-only solutions tend to be inappropriate for language or locale sensitive cases (injecting words into a page, or formatting cents/pence superscript). I'm sure somebody could indeed design a CSS localisation solution for such cases, but having everything correct in source HTML to start with is more robust and usually simpler.



Comment on Screen Readers and CSS: Are We Going Out of Style (and into Content)? by Amy Carney

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 16:56:39 +0000

Looking forward to hearing more at Accessing Higher Ground! See you there.



Comment on Screen Readers and CSS: Are We Going Out of Style (and into Content)? by Stephanie Rewis

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 14:57:05 +0000

Great work! One odd thing I've found is in using flexbox. While flexbox allows you to reorder the children, it should still be read in DOM order. Last time I checked, in FFOX, it was not (and for that reason, we don't use the order property). Did you all do any flexbox testing? I'd be interested in the results. Cheers!



Comment on Screen Readers and CSS: Are We Going Out of Style (and into Content)? by Reinier Kaper

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 12:48:47 +0000

Even though I find accessibility very important, I have issues with the general attitude of "devs should make sure behaviour is consistent for screen-readers". Don't get me wrong, I totally believe devs should make their content accessible, but if screen readers X, Y, and Z all produce different results, then the issue is with the screen readers. very much like browser rendering inconsistencies. There's a spec to be followed and if a browser deviates from the spec, then it shouldn't be up to the dev to "fix" that. I know it's not this black and white usually (we all have dealt with our ie.css files back in the day for example), but I think those who author screen readers should step up and make sure all readers adhere to the same spec.



Comment on Screen Readers and CSS: Are We Going Out of Style (and into Content)? by Shivaji Kumar

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 01:42:36 +0000

Great original research, kudos to authors. But still leaves the practical question unanswered: how much testing is too much, and how little testing is too little? Beyond practical considerations, how much of this screen reader behavior variability is attributable to platform differences and how much to screen readers themselves?