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Testing Web Accessibility – Adrián Bolonio (A11yTalks – August 2019)

To accessibility talks where every month virtually and talk about all things, Accessibility focusing on website usability Each month. We invite a speaker To present an accessibility topic and afterward, we invite the community to ask Questions and participate in discussion. So if you have a question for our Speaker or for anyone on the blog, please post it in the zoom chat window.

Or with the hashtag a-1-1-y-t-a-l-k-s in Twitter, That’s A11yTalks, I’m today’s Host AmyJune, I’m the open source community ambassador for Kanopi Studios and our speaker today is Adrián. Bolonio, Oh and I might have messed that Up He’s a front-end developer and web team Lead in this month’s talk, which is testing web accessibility, Adrián will Speak a bit about automated accessibility tests and how they can Free up our QA team for manual testing every part of the application, but they Cannot do that automatically and magically to make our site accessible so He’s going to show us some testing tools, libraries and techniques to increase the Accessibility test coverage of our code And he’s going to do that by using a Simple react, application, so that’ll be great, So Adrián.

I wanted to ask you a Little bit about yourself, you know we had some discourse in email and you Mentioned that you had a love for traveling and that you recently went to Italy, with your girlfriend um, do you want to share with folks the exciting News that happened in Italy Yeah well, thank you for having me here. First of All Yeah we’ve been in Italy for a couple of Weeks and then yeah we’re engaged now so so all happy nice, but yes yeah.

I love Traveling, actually, that that’s your your your right, every time that that money, Allows it and time allows it, then I’m I’m traveling Right. Where is your next Trip my next trip is to Colombia, I’m going to be speaker in the JavaScript Conference in Colombia, Yeah, and so I can, I spend a week in Colombia, so it’s going to be very exciting, Fun, fun and when you get married, did you Guys pick a location, are you going to travel for the wedding? Not yet it’s Going to happen next year: yes, Oh, Oh fun! Okay! So um are you ready to get started? Absolutely yeah Perfect, take it away.

Yes, So it’s all good! You see my so. You see The presentation Yep Perfect, so yes, I would love to talk about testing web Accessibility today, So, let’s start again, my name is Adrián or Adrián Bolonio, I’m From Madrid, I’m from Spain as AmyJune said, I’m a web team lead of the front-end Developers in my company I’m a front-end developer of that team and you can find Me under my surname in Twitter Instagram keep health everywhere.

So let’s talk About web accessibility in the real world, we can see here three cases that Is obvious that are not implemented and build correct to the people that are Targeted to so Probably because they were built by not disabled people Or Maybe because they didn’t thought to put in their shoes, But it is very clear that Those three cases are wrongly done. Another is another case that that I can Show you in the real world from the wheelchair user perspective, this is Completely wrong and it’s clear that this was not tested from the end user.

Perspective, no one thought about sitting down and clicking the button and opening The door and see that there are stairs so why is it so clear in the real work But not in the online world, so let’s see how how can we translate this? This Reality to the online world, because it’s not so obvious and not clear when we not Visually impaired people when we see a website that is not accessible, so, let’s Make it an example: if you, you are in an online e-commerce and an online shop and You want to you call the IT support.

You want to know your latest purchases, so a Typical answer from the help desk would be: you need to click on the button in The top right corner – or you want to change your password, so they can say you Need to click on the button with the engine icon. The problem here is that People with visually impaired disabilities or blind people will not See anything there’s no such as tab top right corner, there’s no such as engine Icon, so we need to get these reality when we develop applications.

Why so? Important what accessibility? If we look at the numbers last year, we were around Seven point: six billion people in the world. The problem comes because more Than 1 billion people live with some form of this one impairment from light. Two hundred percent, which would be blind people, so we need to make our back Accessible as for as much users as possible, so my team and I, as I said, I’m We are working in a platform that allows people to sell secondhand goods, so we Are the second largest Austrian website in traffic? That means we need to to Reach these people and we need to to make our website accessible for for all These people, so we are not going to throw I’m not going to talk about developing Web accessibility today I gave a talk some time ago about developing web Accessibility is called, how does your website sound like, and anyone can read? It but today I want to focus in testing web accessibility, so, as you said in the Introduction automate tests can free up your your QA team for manual testing Every single bar of your application, but it cannot automatically make it Accessible magically, so we need to think about this ultimate accessibility test.

As one step of a larger testing process, so we don’t, we cannot forget about the Fact that only twenty to fifty percent of all accessibilities can can be Automatically detected, so we don’t. We cannot skip this this manual part so as I said: we’ve been using some libraries, some tools that I would like to show you A introduction about the tools, so we we will start or I will start talking about. Testing the code, so I create a very, very small react application with three tiny Components, one is the button.

One is a fake button, which is an anchor link and One is an image and I put a bunch of errors in the HTML, so the first one is Reax, which is built by the Qin and is probably one of the one, the the tools That I use more so is install as a developer dependency in your react. Application – and you can call it passing the react on object. Why so? Because it Scans, your code, and it keeps you in the chrome, dev tool console in my case.

I’m Using Chrome all the issues that your website does, the good thing is it’s: if The issues are group and it’s group as well by severity level, so you can have Front minor, which could be the warnings to critical, which is the things that you Need to tackle first so again you can automatically see while you are Developing in the in the browser, what issues to have Another thing, another tool that I that we use and we have in our code – Guidelines is the es link plugin for accessibility for JSX, which is the react Language, you need to configure the es lint our situation file and you can Configure the rules that you want to use as we see in the line 12, we extends they Recommended rules by the accessibility, all the accessibility rules as well.

We Can extend the a strict at once so instead of warnings, you will see errors So your application will not be able to build, and in the code you can see what Errors, viewer, you are having and basically hovering the the line that you Have the earth as well, when you run the application, you can see these issues as Well in the terminal so again very very helpful. While you are coding, you don’t Even need to pass any test, you will see them automatically one of my favorites Because we tend is Jax just acts because we tend to to forget the test in writing.

Test is part of the development process. It’s not a post development process is a Part of the development process, so you can write unit tests with just and with This library just acts as well as a developer dependency. You can render into A string the whole application and you can check if the application have Violations so again, if you pass the test in the terminal, you will see pretty much The same issues that you will see in the chrome tools in the ultimate tests, this Is very helpful in your testing.

I belong if you have end-to-end test With selenium or you can have unit test you will, you will see how the Application would not build or will not be deployed to production if the tests Are not fast and with the results you can build reports to your to your Product team or to your development team, so this we’ve seen how to test in the Code so let’s see, how can we test in the Dom structure, mainly from the terminal So again, acts library has an CLI in the terminal, so you need to install it.

Globally, to be able to use it and you can run the command in the terminal. Followed by the URL of the page, you wish to test as well. You can pass localhost, so you can test in your local environment or you can use The flags, the rule flags, so you can test only one rule, in particular in the Second example: I’m testing only the color contrast, so if it I want to test If it’s compliant with a double A or the Triple A the good thing for this library, Is that it gives you the issue, the violation give you why in and where and Give you an link to the deck where University, so you can read more about How to fix this issue? There is another library which is very similar to ax Which is pa-11? Why and it basically does the same so you can.

You have to install It globally, yes NPM package and you can run it in your terminal, followed by the Url of the page, do you wait to test again? You can test against localhost and You will see all the issues listed. What years? What are the issues? Where are the Issues so it will see, it will show you the HTML, where the issue is was found. And a bit of information for me, one interesting thing about this: Library is that it has a CI in the so you can use it in the code, so you will Have to create a P, a PA 11 y CI dot JSON file, and you can pack and the URLs that You want to test, you don’t need to test one by one.

You can generate a full Reaper so in the URLs you can use it blind. I have plain you can use it as a conflict, so you can see down about or You can screen capture, so you will at the end of the test. You will see the Results and you will have a screen shot of the page, so you can test the visual Inconsistency as well and for me again, one of the interesting things about this When is, are the actions, so not only you can load the page and see if the Accessibility tests are passed, but you can perform actions so, in the sake in The third case I’m calling the Drupal group’s website and I’m waiting for the Element with the class menu three four, seven, three, which I expect the element I Know is the event link to be visible.

Then I take a capture. I click the Element and I take another capture so at the end I will have a screenshot of both Hamza and google provides a library which can be used from the dev tools as Well, so you can run this directly from the browser, but in this case i’m running This from the terminal, so I will show you the article, so you can see how how it Runs so lighthouse run a drum instance and it Will start performing tests not only accessibility but performance and SEO Because it’s my experiences SEO as a accessibility and performance both has a Very huge impact in SEO for google, so at the end of the test you will see all the Tests at the pimple and it will generate a report inside the Report, you will have the accessibility tab and you can see the score that you Have and again some information about the issues where and how to fix them.

So This is how this is some tools that you can use to test the Dom structure and, as Well, you can test in the browser, and now we are going out of the out of my tester To go to the manual testing, because all these tests that I’ve been talking about Can be automated in scripts or in the pipeline of the of building and Deploying so in a in a continuous delivery and continuous deployment, System but in this case I’m going to talk a bit about manual testing in the browser So I just selected three like a three plugins that I think I I used quite Often so this is the small react, application that I create and created, and I’m going to show you the Okay, first riad acts as we as we said, so you can see the the element and they are Highlighted so you can see.

Where are we? Where are we, then? The first one is acts So if you click in an allah ice, you will see again the issues that you have some Information about the issue: where is the issue found, and the good thing is how to Solve it and if you want to learn more again, there’s a link to the tech way. University, the second one is the art and our so a RC toolkit. So if you run test Then you can see group pi test and, for example, and they the red column, is Errors and the yellow columns are warnings and, for example, let’s take aria Usage, the good thing of this library is that they are highlighted in the code as Well, in the interview – and you can highlight where you are inspecting so in The in this case, there is a fake button that has a role and any set in valia Invalid aria role specified and if you click, you will directly go to the Element in the HTML inspector other thing that the chrome dev tool has is Enact a new accessibility panel, where you can see the whole accessibility tree Which is the Aria tree, so you can see what the screen readers will read when When the element will be focused, I think Sergey hey, I know Sergey.

I talked about This a couple of months ago, very interesting, so really read this Talk because it’s really interested and some other manual testing the rice that I tend to do is climbing a Chrome extension called no coffee. Which is a vision simulator, so you can simulate how what what can happen when I When a person has a kind of blurry vision, so this is how your website will Appear for them or someone with protanopia.

In this case the colors are Different, so it’s very interesting how to to to simulate the disability of Someone so you can develop this application in a better way, so yeah Those are three extensions that you can use to test your application in the Browser again manual testing, the small react application that I create again is Just a test to to to use these tools, you can find it in the repository in github.

In my in my profile, and I want to leave with with the sentence that I found and I really really like it, which is it says it just it’s not just about disabled Users being able to access your website is about everyone being able to assess Your website, so when we develop and with web accessibility in mind, we just we Don’t develop for disabled people, we develop for everyone, so so we need to we Need to to think about this, and that’s it! Okay, thanks Adrian, do you want to put us On you know, stop sharing your screen there.

You go So are there any questions from anyone on the call today? I know that there was A question from from Andrew he was curious to know which Jas X, Alli air as You extend beyond the default recommended ones, yes, so the errors that I am used for this example and again you can see it in the in the repository. Are All tasks, and you can say which elements you are looking for alternatives in this Case I use image, object, area and inputs with the type image no interactive tab.

Index so I want to avoid table indexes and different numbers, so not interactive. So in a div or in a label, no static element interactions, so I don’t want to I’m looking not to have on click on mouse down on Mouse up on creep press on Key down and on key up in a non static element. So only the the elements that Could have on click should have on click, so no thieves that looked like a button. That you can click on them.

No redundant rolls label has associated control again. Labels with an input so no input without labels, interactive support, focus again. Focus focus of all elements should only be part on check box link search boards. Switch text box le Phaedra Phaedra, the anchor link is Valid – and this is very interested because you can specify here the Components do you looking for, so, if you remember at the beginning, I I create a Tiny component called fake button, which is an anchor link, so in This case, I’m extending anchor is Bartlett and I’m passing the component Fake button, so every time that in react, I’m using this fake button, the Linton Will say, look, this is not.

This is not an phallic anchor and I can look for Special link so href left and HOF right and no ATF. Obviously, anchor has content. So, for example, the most typical example for this is you have the logo of your Website and is wrapped into an anchor in the image or you have an anchor with Nothing inside so the every Ankara should have an a Content. I’m looking Forward language Aria roles, so in heaven heaven has content, so I’m looking for as Well, heading so h1: h2 that has content no empty h2 host because of we are Things you want to use it as separate or whatever things that you should not to That’s that’s the the extension.

So I’m doing but again, if you, if you want to Take a look of the of the repository you can find everything specify the labels So to one it depends on critical minor, whatever you want to do to treat them. Perfect um so certainly has a question for you. You wanted to know if you use Cypress js4 accessibility, testing and if you have yeah no, no, we don’t. We don’t Use Cypress, we use react testing library from Kent, art asked he said.

No, no. We Don’t use Cypress we evaluated to use Cypress at the beginning, I mean we use Playing just and and now we are starting to use, react testing library. If react. Used to have a react, thus I eleven, but it was deprecated Towards react, ax well done liquid, because hopefully it Will be included in further versions of react um. What do you do when the Different tools give you different reports or conflicting reports: sorry ii, What do you do when different tools give you different reports or conflicting Results: okay, it depends on first, you will.

I will check how each library Is configured so, for example, maybe in the linking that we were talking before I I was looking for Encore not valid in in my component, which is the fake button. But if I don’t specify that this, but because I’m specifying explicitly this Component is wrong, but react. Acts in the browser will not say anything because I’m not specifying to this library a this component is not a nun.

It’s not a Valid anchor so for other libraries will be a valid anchor. So first you need to See the configuration of each one if you have a conflicting one, I normally go to The w3c specification and read about like okay, what is the best practice and Why is this not correct in this library and wise is correct in this library or What is the levels? Maybe one is a warning and one is a error. I normally go.

Directly to the specification so and has a couple of questions in the chat Window, the first one he asked was: do you normally test the entire application for Violations in one assertion, as opposed to testing specific components or Screams we do we do both, so the test that you’ve seen is rendered the whole Thing and and pass it through the through the testing library text, yest Acts and we test component by component, but the problem with component by Component is that if you have a component, I receive an alternate test: For an image as a prop and the prop is not passed, you would need to have Several tests for this with the application you just know what is what Is there unless is obviously coming from database or an API The other issue for us is that we are a service site application based, so we use Next J’s, sometimes we have data render in the server that are not coming in the Client, so sometimes the data is not coming, so we sometimes we have Components that we cannot test, unfortunately, his second question in the chat was: do You ever find their violations that fail the test, suite that you need to write.

That you want to skip or ignore, and is that possible on a one-off basis or do You always need to make code changes to address accessibility, test failures and Then, following that up with, how do you account for testing the rendered app in Different states: okay, for the first question: yes, there’s violations that Fail the test suite that we need to ignore sometimes pick it again. There’s Something that I always say to my team, and not only the team that I that I Developed with, but product team in general is that we need to be the most Accessible as we can it’s very difficult to be hundred percent accessible, Unfortunately, but I can tell you an example because it happened today, we Have an image gallery and some of the thumbnails are not images – are our Background images, the good thing is that all the thumbnails are in the gallery, so All the images have their correct alternate test.

So if I look for images This thumbnail will not appear in my test, so it’s not that they failed. It is Just literally, they are not found so, for me is a failure, but I just keep it Because in favor of the other images, and sometimes we have to ignore them – the Better example for us is as our logo, the colors of our logo are not three pelican Compliant so it’s like our our corporate log, our corporate colors, it’s just blue And white: it’s something that I cannot change, because the board will kill me if I change the logo.

This is something that we need to ignore. How do you account for Testing the render up in different states mocking we normally model data That we pass to the test, so we mark some 500 errors. We mark some success. We mark Errors – and we test as much we can – is obvious that sometimes we miss Some stuff, but this is, I guess, that’s obvious and Kari asked in the chat if what you Thought of and I’m going to destroy this last name man, not you this article on Building the most inaccessible site possible with the perfect lighthouse Score, did you read that yeah absolutely absolutely, of course, actually actually He lives in Vienna and we are going to.

We are in the process of found in the Accessibility cloth, Vienna together so yeah, absolutely I mean again know all the all the libraries, the tools that we have seen. They are not perfect manual show us perfectly how to how to score 100 % with The list with with the worst website possible but yeah if you find the hole The best thing they can do or the best thing you can do – maybe it’s reported and Try to make this tool better, so yeah we need.

We need to use the tools knowing That it could happen and and again, as I said in my slide ultimate test, it’s just One part of the whole testing process, so manual test is very important as well. And I think manual said it in in a talk and Sergei as well the best testing tool That you can do is just is close your eyes and try to use your website with The screen reader, if you’re, able to perform an end-to-end action, you can log In you can purchase you can whatever Pro you’re selling or service, then then can You good yeah, there’s definitely limitations to automated testing, so this Is like a really broad question, but do you find that there’s one tool, that’s Better than another for finding certain issues, not not better but different, Situations so, for example, I use react, acts in the Browser instead of the acts, chrome, chrome, plugin, because I normally have The console log open, so for me it’s not that one is which is totally wrong.

Both Are developed by the same company, but one is better in one situation for Example, just I use testing in the terminal instead of using the CL eyes or The CI, so I prefer to write my own tests than to run PAE them in Y or or acts Directly in the terminal both are going to most likely most likely are going to give Me the same result but yeah I can run tests continuously and and the other one Is their one-time thing so yeah, it’s not it’s again, not not better than the other One, but with their situations Carrie asked well, she stated we captured A lot of the links, but do you have any other resources you want to recommend to The group for yes definitely, I mean a linear project.

Carrie, your your blog literally Scott ohhara Twitter account any any Accessibility guru, let’s say in Twitter, follow them they will. They are Continuously, sharing blog, post and and and tools to use in our development. Process you mentioned manual mitosis, which the His blog is a huge inspiration as well. He has a very cool section, which is Today I learned field section and every day is he posted he posts and heals Anything so my biggest resource is Twitter, follow probably the hashtag 11y And you will find would find a lot yeah.

It’s it’s social Media is really great for for targeting what you want to learn. The hashtag does Anybody else on the call any questions or discussion points for Adrienne Opening it up for people, no, nothing, okay, so I wanted to ask you something: About your music, playlist, Adrienne, okay, you said you liked jazz, but like what Kind of jazz, like comes you up when you’re doing the accessibility testing Like what like really gets you going like what really helps you get into that Groove, because sometimes you know I hate to say this – the testing can be a little Bit arduous and tedious, you know, so what do you recommend and I I just know, not a Specific art disorder – or I mean probably it’s more into the funk part, so Maceo Parker is my probably my favorite, Frank artist, but any just music is very Relaxing to tour with jazz doesn’t funk yeah.

I am not quite there in the jazz World you know I like the funky side of jazz, but some of the other stuff I Either are not cultured enough or I haven’t been exposed to the right. Artists to really have a deep sense of you know, love for the genre yet, but That’s okay: I can get there. Okay, I just want to give everyone else. One more Opportunity for questions or discussion points there’s a big group today, so I’m Just hoping someone has something to say it might be.

My Yeah, go on under you’re welcome to turn your microphone on to Andrew. If you want To do it that way, yeah! I can do that. Can you hear me yeah, okay, great yeah? This is Easier, so I’ve got lots of test suite questions, I’m in the middle of trying to Set up something for my team as full feature is this so when your tests are Failing that you choose to ignore, is that mean your test? Suite is literally Family, because a lot of test suites are gatekeepers for the CI to build.

So how Do you, how do you deal with that or how does that work? Yes, absolutely There’s this is something that you need to talk with your team of course, and so In our team again, this is what you just said: Our tests need to get to pass to continue building, so we have every pull Request that we make to the code, it has a test and the build breaks. We need to Look where is this the the wait break, what he braked – Oh buddy, Proctor, so Sometimes you need to analyze this this test.

We normally have our UX designer Sitting with us – and we need to talk – is this really a usability test? Failure is It an accessibility test failure is the accessibility. How is the level of Severity, so is it a warning, is in an error, is a huge error. Like okay, you have Links with with no ATF, you have images with no alt text. Okay, you need to fix That again, do you have color contrast that is not compliant with a triple-a or Not even double-a, okay, then we need to evaluate it and, if is if we need to in If we decided to ignore it either you delete the test.

Or either you make it past the test I mean, how can I say it like you: can Reduce the severity your tolerance today today to the test. So if you’re looking For errors in the industry, in in this specific test, you’re looking for Warnings so the error will go or the other around the warning will go: okay, That’s really helpful, so you’re you’re not letting a your test suite fail to be Green, you know indefinitely because that’s one Thing that’s important is that we trust the test suite.

So definitely I mean so In making a test with expect through and and passing to is just delete the test Makes no sense. Okay thanks. I really appreciate that good anybody else. Do you have anything else? You want to say Adrienne, one thing is just we need to understand that the Responsibility of web accessibility is not on the developers it has to be in The whole team so from product managers, product owners, you x-ray designers, UI Designers developers testers everyone, it’s not.

The developers needs to think Of everything, and if it’s not accessible, is part of the developments or the Developers fault, no. This is something that, if you, if your product owner Requests a new feature and if the feature is a button who perform an Action then it has to be a button and if it’s a link who goes to a place, then it Needs to be linked, ok, button against link. We talk about a different day, but But we have so HTML provides us with the correct tools.

We don’t need to download. Any polyfill we don’t need to download any library is everything. Is there to be Used so one is use with what you have correctly and again, it’s responsibility. Of everyone, so to argue, do not fight if it’s possible with your designer and say No, I’m not going to delete the outline of our focus only and an argue it Correctly, I will delete the outline only if we put something else or this this Button I want a button that looked like an icon and in small screens look way.

Way less this if it’s possible, because if it’s not possible, let’s look for a Different solution that that the UX, the user experience is not effective, so it’s Something that is is easy, because it is really really easy, because Aria, give you all the opportunity you have so you just need to do it and again Involve everyone in the process, so if you could involve the whole team, but I Prefer it for for your process, because if you have an accessible product, then Is a better product not again the same as they my last sentence, not for Disabled people, for everyone right – those are great words – well enjoy your time in Columbia, I hope you really enjoy the countryside, along with the conference.

And congratulations on your engagement. That’s really exciting! Thank you thanks for coming on today, we really appreciate everyone: who’s, not Thank you for having thank you for having me


 

Categories
Online Marketing

Accessibility – The State of the Web

The theme for today’s episode is really important because you may have a fast website with the best content, but it’s all for nothing if people can’t actually use it. My guest is nektarios paisios, he’s a software engineer on the chrome, accessibility team and we’re talking about the state of accessibility. Let’s get started, how would you describe your role on the chrome accessibility team? I’m a software engineer.

This means that I’m a programmer. I write code. All day, which is something I enjoy a lot, I implement accessibility, features in chrome and I also fix accessibility bugs. I mostly work on Windows and Mac accessibility, but my team has lots of other people who work on many different platforms and for lots of features that we release as part of Chrome OS. So how would you explain, accessibility to someone who may be new to web development? Well, accessibility is a very important feature.

We should see it as a feature of our website and it’s part of usability the more accessible your website is the more usable it would be to everyone, so it doesn’t only affect people with disabilities. If we want to talk about the people with disabilities, they are according to the World Health Organization, 15 % of the population. So even for business reason you could say that you’re getting more customers if your website is more accessible.

But, aside from that, your website will be more usable if you abide by all the accessibility standards. If you follow all the best practices, your website will be both accessible. I provide better experience for the rest of your customers, so it’s a good business practice. It’s the right thing to do, but also it creates the best experience for everybody and what are the various ways that people with disabilities interact with the web depending on the disability that somebody has.

They used different sorts of assistive software. One of this piece of software is called screen reader, so if you’re blind, for example, you might be using the web through a piece of software that reads to you using synthetic speech, it reads to you the contents of the screen: that’s why it’s called a screen. Reader, if you’re partially sighted, you might be using a magnifier, so you might be enlarging the size of the font, the size of the text, the size of the whole page, the size of the images, even the size of article, so there’s different software that helps depending On the disability that you have, if you’re hearing-impaired, you might be using some captions or some software that can listen to what has been said and transcribe that into text.

If you have another disability like a motor disability, you could use a switch access, which is a device that allows you to move through the interface by flipping a switch or you could use eye tracking devices that track the movement of your eyes. If you cannot move your hands, you might be able to move your eyes. So by moving your eyes, you can move a cursor around the screen, so there are lots of different accommodations depending on the particular need.

So what are some things that you wish? Even the more experienced web developers would know about accessibility. Clearly, the web has offered a big opportunity for companies and organizations to showoff their branding. Different websites have different layouts. They use different font sizes, they use different colors. They have different ways of interacting with them different menu systems, different ways of navigating through them different workflows as a whole.

This is very good for branding every organization wants their website or their web app to differ from other organizations. We don’t want to have a monoculture. We want to have a platform that is full of life and diverse as possible. However, if you’re a person with some accessibility challenges, it takes much longer for you to get accustomed to the different workflows that are presented by different websites.

Let me give you an example: let’s say: you’re blind and you’re using a screen reader. What you have to do most likely is: you need to read the web page that you’re interacting with serially from top to bottom and if to get familiar with it, to familiarize yourself with it. So it takes you time to if the conventions are different from side to side. It takes you time to go through all the content. Just to be able to do.

Let’s say you might want to sign up for a newsletter or you might want to order or buy something from that particular company’s website. If the workflow for purchasing an item is different for each website, which for each website which most likely it is, then it was going to take you much longer to learn that workflow, because you don’t have the visual cues that the sighted person might have the placement Of icons, the placement of the different elements of the different buttons, you don’t have a clue, you know you don’t get those and clues.

You have to go and discover them by reading the contents of them of most of the website. The same goes: if you have a model disability, for example, you might need to use hardware device like switch access to go through the contents of the side and if you’d have muscle, you have developed a muscle memory that you know, for example, that if you press Your street chip specific number of times you get to a particular feature on most websites that say the top navigation menu.

But now you discover that for each website the navigation menu on the top is not the same location. So you cannot really develop muscle memory with your assistive device and you can imagine the similar issues with other groups of disabilities, so what I would suggest is try to follow existing conventions, and this brings me up to my second point. Not everybody uses the computer using a mouse or a phone using touch, they might be using some commands that come with your assistive software or hardware, and those commands require that your site is accessible using the keyboard and if your site is not accessible using the keyboard.

It’s a pointing device, then it might be hard for this assistive software or hardware to work with your website. Another point is: there are lots of accessibility standards and the web content. Accessibility guidelines is one of the most prominent standards and it’s better. If you go through those standards and try to follow as much as possible the guidelines that are out there, so that’s one of the ways your website will be consistent with established patterns.

The same goes for the keyboard navigation. I described before another thing that you should bear in mind is: if you don’t actually test with assistive software, you are not going to know the bottlenecks you’re not going to know what the issues your users are running into. So you could try some of the assistive software very easily. For example, if you have a Chromebook, you could easily turn on a screen reader that comes built-in to every colon book.

You could turn that on and every command, but the screen reader exposes is in a menu, so you can easily get to all the commands it. Doesn’t it’s not a very steep learning curve. The same goes for every other assistive feature. On that platform. You can turn on magnification color filtering on Android. You can turn on a feature whereby you could use the volume buttons of your phone to simulate a switch access device.

So somebody with a motor impairment that uses a hardware switch device. You could simulate that using the volume buttons of of your phone, so these are some of the tips that you could rely on when developing. What would you say that developers who may be well intentioned and try to be overly descriptive with, for example, their aria labels on elements, and they might just say too much about an element, it’s a bit of funny? But there is this notion that you know: if you have a disability, it means that you’re, you know, you don’t have the intellectual ability to understand what everybody else can understand and that’s actually not true.

We don’t need to go over the top when describing a UI element. For example, we don’t need if there is a button that lets say minimizes a article player, we don’t need to say things like collapses and reduces to a small size, the article player and places it at the bottom left side of the screen. You don’t need to say that just say minimize and people would understand from the context that it minimizes a article player.

Of course, we have to bear in mind that we have a group of disability users that are with intellectual disabilities or developmental disabilities, so we have to make cater to those users by using language that could be understood by a 9th grade level. We shouldn’t use complex and not very well known words, but other than that. We don’t need to go over and above and try to overcompensate. The other thing, though, that you should bear in mind, is what I was saying before with the keyboard.

If you wan na test your keyboard navigation, you should not only use the tab key, because tab is not the only key on the keyboard. So, coming back to your previous question, what I wished with developers knew is tap is not the only key on the keyboard and, if you look through, for example, the area, the rich internet applications practices for keyboard users, there are lots of shortcut keys that are listed In those practices in those authoring practices and tab is just one of them and I’ve cost you the importance of using semantic elements on the web so that the screen reader can understand what type of content is on the page instead of using a div or a Span element that doesn’t convey any semantic information, it’s better to rely on the existing html5 rich controls, if possible.

So let’s say you want the user to enter an email field, use the email input box. There is such a text field because an assistive software might provide autocomplete suggestions to a user, for example, if they detect that they’re trying to enter an email. But if you don’t use the correct control, the assistive software might not know that and offer no suggestions. The other problem is, let’s say you wan na enter a date.

There is a date control you when I use at least the original list box control in HTML try and use those controls. Unless you really have specific reasons, why not most people have issues with the styling? I do understand that, but if you are comfortable using the built-in controls, use them and take your time to read through the new controls that came out in the last few years, there. Instead, an array of rich form controls the number control.

There’s a telephone input do not ignore those controls, they might look the same as a text field, but under the hood they are very useful to somebody who is using an assistive software right. So, as the web capabilities have evolved over the years, people have started using the web in different ways. So what effects have translate these had on the ways that users actually use the web? The development of the web has given people with disabilities a workaround for many of us, including myself, I’m blind myself, including myself.

We have been liberated anyway by the proliferation of web applications, because if let’s say you want to go and visit a bank and make some transaction, you usually go to a bank and you have to complete some paperwork and that paperwork. If you’re blind, for example, you will need some assistance to help you do that if you’re deaf you the person who is at the bank most like it, doesn’t know any sign language, you might have difficulty explaining to them.

What needs to be done? If you have a model disability, it might be, there might be, no ramp is hard to get into the bank, and then you can go in there. So there are sort all sorts of issues when it comes to physical world that they completely disappear. When you use a website a website, also – and that’s also ever that’s another great point to remember – doesn’t have a bias. If you visit a place and you have a disability and people there, they don’t want accommodate you.

You might have a hard time convincing them that you have the right to be offered services, but a website doesn’t know that you have a disability, and this has also opened up the employment market to people with disabilities who can, through their computers they could perform the Tasks that before they needed, for example, a secretary or an assistant to help them perform their work duties. Another thing is reading books.

Let’s say you have learning disability, for example, or blindness. It would have been hard for you to read a book now with their software. That can read the book to you over the web and also for people with dyslexia. For example, there are tools that break up syllables or read the book using text-to-speech or have a dictionary that is on demand and easy, easily accessible on the computer or on your phone.

So it’s really easy to to get accommodated through the web and you can also feel very independent in that way because you’re using the same websites and the same web apps as everybody else. So this is a very nice feeling. You feel that you’re treated the same as every other customer of that particular business. However, on the negative side, the more complicated the web has become. The more important is for web developers to take care of accessibility challenges because on the flip side, if you do visit, let’s say a supermarket and you’re in a wheelchair, and you have trouble going through the aisle or the supermarket.

Unemploy might help you by fetching an item from the shop. However, if the website is inaccessible and you’re, a person with modern disability that is relying on eye tracking device to use the website and the website doesn’t have very good – let’s say, keyboard navigation or some kind of navigation that the functionality that would allow that assistive software To interact with it, then this person is stuck.

They can’t really negotiate with the machine because the machine is inflexible. So, yes, the web has removed a lot of the accessibility challenges. However, if we don’t pay attention to the accessibility of our websites, we’re going to erect much higher barriers that are inflexible and cannot removed by talking to a human being right and one of the solutions to that is standardization and the w3c web accessibility initiative is to Define strategies, standards and resources to make the web accessible to people with disabilities.

So what kinds of things have been done from the standardization side of things to make the web more accessible to people? There have been a lot of efforts, and actually I have been involved in the chrome accessibility team for a few years now, and we have a steamed colleague on the team that is part of has been a part of the standards for many years now and what They have been telling me is that at the beginning there was nothing and then they worked really hard for a few important standards to be put in place.

The accessible rich Internet application standard area for short, it’s very extensive and it defines specific attributes that you can add to your HTML that enable HTML elements that do not have any semantic information attached to them. It’s what I was describing before the use of divs and spans with visually, with visual information that conveys to the user what they do, for example, it might be a deed that represents a button check bar or a check box, but it doesn’t convey that to the Assistive software, it’s only conveyed visually.

However, if you use the Aria standard, there are some attributes. For example, rule you can say: role equals checkbox and suddenly all the assistive software knows that this is a checkbox. And then there is another attribute called aria checked and you can say: ok, that’s true, and that means that the checkbox is now checked. So what it is visually represented with a check mark is now also conveyed in the HTM and the assistive software can get to that information.

Another standard that has been evolving is the HTML standard itself. So, as I said before, in html5, there are new form controls, rich form, controls that you can use and those controls are accessible by default because they are implemented by the browser, their slider. There is a time range. There is email input, telephone input, etcetera. There are lots of controls, another standard is the web component standard and that’s an evolving standard, and that one enables you to create components and widgets that could be packaged as a unit and used in other web apps.

This is very helpful because once somebody creates an accessible widget, let’s say we want to create an accessible calendar widget we can create that publish it on the web and people can easily include it in their web apps before this web component standard it’s hard. It has been hard to include components from other sites, because when you paste in HTML and CSS, there might be conflicts with your own CSS, with your own HTML with your own JavaScript.

But this web component standard enables those widgets to isolate themselves from the rest of your web app. So I think that would help accessibility by enabling people to create accessible components once and distribute them to be used everywhere. And what is the accessibility object model? It is a standard that would enable web applications to expose some of the accessibility information and perform some day of the accessibility actions that were only available to desktop applications in the past, not only desktop, but also, I should say that we’re only available to native applications In the past, I’m talking about things like if a user performs a gesture, a specific gesture or uses a specific command with their assistive software, this command could be communicated to the web app itself and the web app could take action based on that command.

That came from the assistive software native apps could do that before web apps. Couldn’t we’re trying to create a standard to solve that? Another thing that this standard is trying to solve is the ability for the web app itself to create accessibility, information. That would only be visible to users of assistive software in the past. You couldn’t easily do that now. You can, if you have a complicated up that presents things using, let’s say converse or some other kind of graphical technology, but you want to create some equivalent semantically rich representation of what is visually conveyed to users of assistive software.

With this new standard, the accessibility object model standard. You can create your own accessibility objects, food, the information you want in them and expose them directly to assistive software. So, in effect, you can tell the assistive software what exactly exactly what you want did to see. So what types of tools are available for developers to understand how accessible their website is? Chrome actually has a lot of built-in tools.

We have the chrome, developer tools and inside the chrome, developer tools. If you go to the main panel, the panel where you can see the Dom tree, there is also a tab in there that allows you to see the accessibility tree. The accessibility is not the same as the Dom tree. The accessibility tree is the tree that is presented to assistive software and it is created based on the Dom tree and the layout tree.

So your HTML, your CSS, your JavaScript. All of that is used to create the accessibility tree which conveys the information about the page to assistive software and that’s the tree. You can manipulate with using them directly using the accessibility, object model standard that I have mentioned before, and also that’s the tree where in which all the Aria attributes you might have added to your website.

That’s where those attributes would appear. So, as you can see, the history is created from many different sources, but ultimately that is the information that assistive software sees and you can see it as well. If you go to the developer tools, there is a tab there. That shows the accessibility tree and you can use that to see. Let’s say if you have a screen door user. What are they going to experience if you visit your website, how are they going? What information are they going to see when they try to read the site using the screen reader? There is also another panel in the chrome developer tools.

It’s the audits panel and as part of the audience we have lighthouse lighthouse, can perform audits on your website and give you a list of errors or recommendations for to improve. So it’s very easy. You could go and click and run an audit accessibility audit on your website. I have to point out that it doesn’t catch all the errors. You ultimately do need to test with some assistive software or rely on user feedback, but it does help write a score of 100 percent doesn’t mean your website is fully accessible yep.

So the HTTP archive tracks, lighthouse accessibility, scores on over a million websites. The median lighthouse accessibility score is 62 % and another interesting stat, 42 % of pages correctly use alt attributes on images and only 12 % of pages correctly label form elements. So the state of accessibility right now shows a lot of room for improvement. Unfortunately, we do need to redouble our efforts and perhaps we need to provide more automated solutions for making web apps accessible.

We do need to pay attention to the web content, accessibility guidelines and there are three axes in those guidelines that I think everybody can understand. The apps in the app should be the website should be perceivable, so you should be able, as a person with disability, you should be able to perceive content that your disability prevents you from receiving low. So let’s say you have an image, it doesn’t have a description or we have a article that has only audio.

It doesn’t have captions for people who are deaf if you’re a person with some developmental disability, and there is language there that is not as to advanced and too complicated, or you have very long and long winded text and you’re unable to you know, read long pieces Of text and you’re going to have difficulties there, so there or you’re a person who doesn’t tolerate rabid animations. So it’s not hard for somebody who is developing a website to understand if they try and put their themselves in the shoes of a person with disabilities.

For a few minutes, it’s not hard of them to understand what it means when we say that your website needs to be perceivable. It just takes some time to put yourself in the shoes of this other person and then realize oh wait a moment. This might be. Might create some trouble for for people another thing in the web content. Accessibility guidelines is your app needs to be. Your website needs to be robust, so the HTML needs to validate.

You need to be using the correct attributes and form labels is actually part of that. You need your your forms to have labels your your form fields, to have labels to indicate errors in a clear manner and to suggest corrections if possible. So I I don’t think it’s hard for somebody to follow those standards if they try and get in the shoes of the user that is trying to use the website. I do realize that some of the standards are vague and too technical.

They use complicated language, but I think, if you’re a developer, that wants to learn how different people with accessibility needs use your website, you could try and find articles on how different people use assistive software and then try and imagine yourself being in the shoes of those Users, so, as web capabilities continue to evolve, we have technologies like AR and VR around the corner. How do we make sure that we’re not leaving people with disabilities behind a lot of the changes happen organically? They grow from past experience and slowly-slowly solutions get developed.

For example, assistive software has been developing for 25 or 30 years, and it has been a gradual process. However, if there is a technology shift like the move to a touchscreen mobile phone, for example, or the use of VR AR virtual reality, it would be very difficult for somebody to wait for this progress that happened gradually, because then you would expect a big gap in The number of the amount of time that you have to wait, if you’re a person with disabilities to get your hands on this new technology, so here is where we need a new research.

The innovation! That’s why I to encourage people who are interested in the field of accessibility, to pursue a career in this field and also get a degree on accessibility. There is a notion that accessibility is easy, that you just add some labels and some alt text some keyboard navigation. However, your question about virtual reality: they points the finger to the big changes that could happen in the lives of people with disabilities.

If an innovation takes place and we’re not going to get an innovation, if people are not going to work hard and try to be creative, with the accessibility with providing solutions to those accessibility challenges. Finally, what resources would you recommend for web developers who want to make the web more accessible? My program manager, Laura, has produced a few articles that you can read. We have a Udacity course that some of my co-workers have created that you can read on.

It explains to you how you could add accessibility to your website, also, the web content, accessibility, guidelines from the w3c and the Aria standard, accessible, rich Internet application, standard, the authoring guide for the area standard and the examples and are provided so nektarios. Thank you again for being here my pleasure. You can find links to everything we talked about in the description and also share your perspective on the state of accessibility.

In the comments below thanks for reading and we’ll see you next time.