Common pitfalls and misunderstandings in accessibility auditing

At Hassell Inclusion we deliver a huge amount of accessibility training to organisations all over the world. Our Head of Training, Jon Gooday, has had the honour of training over 70 accessibility auditors over the last five years. In this blog, he gives an overview of some of the most common mistakes and pitfalls that auditors tend to get wrong that impact the quality of their findings…

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Scope website case study: Train-Test-Support strategy – spend your money on training not audits

Scope, the disability equality charity in England and Wales, asked us to help them make sure their new site worked for every single one of their users, and to demonstrate that great design and great accessibility can go hand in hand. Find out how our Train-Test-Support strategy helped them efficiently deliver on their goals, while empowering their team to keep the site accessible in the future…

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Is input type=”date” ready for use in accessible websites?

One of the ‘new’ HTML5 elements – input type=”date” – was intended to simplify the collection of dates on websites, and to reduce user errors whilst doing so. So is it well supported? And does using it help make forms more accessible? We took date inputs for a test drive with different browsers and assistive technologies to see how usable the control is now. Here are the results…

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Boomers are the largest generation in history – so how do you make sure they can use your website?

Our population is ageing. Boomers are the largest generation in history. They also have significant buying power. So how should you ensure that they can use your websites and mobile apps? Digital technologies, and the accessibility opportunities they offer, have a huge amount to offer to people who are ageing. So here are some insights from my interview with Andrew Arch, who led the WAI-AGE work at W3C on the link between accessibility standards and ageing. Are the needs of people with disabilities and people who are ageing the same? Do older people use screen readers? Do the colours you use on a site matter? If older people prefer tablets and smartphones to computers, what is the main thing they dislike about browsing sites on touchscreens? How do you get people to relate to disability as a personal thing, rather than a technical solution? Find out here…

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Accessibility myths 2019 – Digital Accessibility Experts Podcast 3

Back in 2011, I published a blog trying to change some of the things people were misunderstanding about accessibility. In this podcast our team are bringing that up to date for 2019, busting these myths: the accessibility of words doesn’t matter; Blind screen reader users use the tab key all of the time; Accessibility consultants will find exactly the same issues when reviewing the same site; the most important accessibility is done by auditors; accessibility is the most important part of any digital project; If we want to be really good at accessibility we should go for WCAG AAA; ARIA can make anything accessible. Check it out…

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What’s new in Accessibility in 2019 – enabling technologies and ATs

In my follow-up blog to ‘Inclusive Design goes mainstream in 2019’ I’m looking at the multiple layers of technology that are needed to deliver an accessible digital experience to people with impairments. Each year more and more organisations wake up to accessibility, in every layer of this ecosystem. Big breakthroughs and innovations are happening in Underlying Technologies & Devices, Operating System features, and Assistive Technologies. Here’s the latest on what’s happening in hearables, wearables, eHealth, VR, AR, AI and 5G, and how they could create opportunities for you in 2019…

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Accessible accordions part 2 – using <details> and <summary>

After a comment on my previous blog post about accessible accordion patterns, I decided to do some investigation on the details and summary HTML elements. They could be the best way of doing accordions natively in browsers, but how well is the pattern supported? And will they work with assistive technologies?

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Inclusive design goes mainstream – how could you benefit from it in 2019?

Happy New Year! It’s the time of year when people look ahead to what they think is going to be important in their part of the digital world this year. So we wanted to do the same for what is going to be important in digital inclusion in 2019. Here’s the first part, about why large organisations are seeing this year as the year inclusive design goes mainstream, and why they believe it’s so important…

Using Gherkin To Write Accessibility Tests

Numerous accessibility automation tools, libraries and APIs are already available (including aXe, Pa11y, Google Accessibility Tools) which can be used to check whether code has been marked up to meet accessibility standards. But these don’t cover many of the tests you’d wish to make against WCAG success criteria, which aren’t about code, but about the how the page should respond to the user’s behaviour, such as tabbing. This blog discusses how the popular Gherkin language, which is often used for defining user acceptance test scenarios, and integrates easily with many automation frameworks including Ruby/Cucumber, PHP/Behat and .NET/SpecFlow (amongst others), can be used to write acceptance tests for these user behaviour tests…

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The wider picture of accessibility

Over Christmas I’ve been reflecting on this quote from Yacoob Woozeer in this month’s podcast: “Even where people are being taught accessibility, it’s at a component level. They need to see the wider picture. So you need to be more aware of that user journey throughout the system, not just looking at individual aspects of it.” This ‘wider picture’ of accessibility is key to individuals’ growing maturity in accessibility, as it is for organisations’ maturity. So my Christmas blog shares how my book on BS 8878, and the forthcoming ISO 30071-1, can help provide it. Enjoy…

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