[BCAB] Whether it is Accessible or Useable that is the Question

Steve Green steve.green at testpartners.co.uk
Fri Oct 11 13:49:26 BST 2019


Andrew is correct. JAWS has had highlighting for 2 or 3 years so we can see where the virtual cursor is on a page. NVDA has had that feature pretty much from the start. However, there are times when the highlight is not shown in the correct place. If you understand the underlying HTML it usually makes sense, but non-technical people would not understand. Also, the highlight sometimes disappears when the virtual cursor moves to content that is hidden visually. This is especially common with badly designed dropdown menus but it can happen anywhere on a page.

The HTML structure of a web site cannot allow for structural movement because HTML has very little concept of left and right except in tables and definition lists. All the positioning of content is controlled by the CSS.

If a sighted person needs to instruct you how to get to a certain part of a page, it is best if they refer to headings or other semantic elements such as menus. If the website is coded properly it should be easy to navigate using headings, lists or landmarks. Telling a screen reader user to move left or right really isn't very helpful except in a table.

Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: Agent Orange via Bcab <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk> 
Sent: 11 October 2019 12:53
To: 'BCAB Discussion List' <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>
Cc: Agent Orange <agentorange at talktalk.net>
Subject: Re: [BCAB] Whether it is Accessible or Useable that is the Question


I am only wondering but maybe it helps that you can compensate a little by seeing the screen slightly?  As a pure screen reader user that does not see the screen, I come up against fairly regular difficulties with websites.
Sometimes these can be overcome with trial and error, sometimes not.  Date pickers are a classic case if you are booking a ticket or similar, they are rarely very accessible and often completely inaccessible.

Phil

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Hodgson [mailto:andrew at hodgson.io]
Sent: 11 October 2019 12:32
To: BCAB Discussion List
Subject: Re: [BCAB] Whether it is Accessible or Useable that is the Question

Hi,

With later versions of JFW there is some indication on where you are on the screen from a sighted point of view.  I think NVDA does something similar.
Dolphin have done it for years.  it is a long overdue feature in my view.

I must say that for the most part I don't really have issues on accessing websites these days, it all tends to work pretty well.  Occasionally I get a big issue but I can usually let the customer services people know and it gets fixed fairly quickly.  I work for a large online retailer and one of the biggest issues is getting the website working correctly on the huge variety of hardware/configurations out there.  It is a never ending battle.

Andrew.
________________________________________
From: Steve Nutt [steve at comproom.co.uk]
Sent: 11 October 2019 12:06
To: 'BCAB Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [BCAB] Whether it is Accessible or Useable that is the Question

Hi Adrian,

The other problem is screen readers themselves.  None of them track web site links and controls in the same way for a sighted person as for a blind one.

I learned this ever since I had a support worker.

Steve Green may be able to comment on this, as a sighted person, but if you arrow down with for example, JAWS or NVDA, there is no real cursor highlight that sighted people can see, so they don't know where you are on the screen, or more accurately, what you are hearing, is often not what they are seeing.
So this does make it somewhat difficult for a sighted person to track what you're doing as a blind person and advise you on what's on the screen.

I was surprised to find that the HTML structure of a web site doesn't always allow for structural movement, in other words, because the browse buffer is one big buffer, you don't know really whether you are at top, bottom, left or right of the screen.  So sighted Eyes says move to the left hand side of the screen, how do you interpret that with a screen reader on the web specifically?  I contend you can't.  If you arrow or tab, it seems that JAWS goes top to bottom, left to right.

Both JAWS and NVDA do have screen layout where supported, but both are pretty rubbish at it.

I hope this makes sense to you Steve, but I do realise how difficult it is for sighted people to know where we are sometimes on the screen.

All the best

Steve

-----Original Message-----
From: Accessible Computer <accessiblecomputer at outlook.com>
Sent: 11 October 2019 11:14
To: BCAB Discussion List <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>
Subject: Re: [BCAB] Whether it is Accessible or Useable that is the Question

Hi,
If you wish to really build up a website or app for final customer's needs, you have to put  in their shoes. Isn't it?
I am 100% sure if you take 100 web developers  in line to ask them to navigate not more, but ten pages away  from they are placed being blind folded and using a keyboard only, with their  chois screen reader the result will be under 5%  success. So, what are we talking about here?
>From my previous experience is very difficult to make businesses or organizations to understand real struggles of blind people because accessibility issues, unless they see practicaly what is about.
I was talking for hours, with a manager  from a Equality Department of a local council trying to explain him in technical and none technical terms what the council's website issues are, but only when I was walking in their office with a laptop with Jaws and navigating across the council website, showing them what is possible and what not because parts of the website are nott screen reader friendly they really understood they need imediat action.

One of the issue was, for example, to create an account on the website because during the registration process was required a postcode, which once inserted, offered a dropdown list with a number of addresses, corresponding to that  postcode.
This list was not readable with any combination of screen reader/browser.
Excuse? Yes, The user can do everything on the website as a guest not being mandatory to register.
OK, then why an account management section in website?
This are the kind of discussion having about accessibility and usability of an website.
And when businesses are involved things get more further because any penny spent in websites and marketing must be justified in commercial terms.
How many potential blind users do I have on my website in a year? How much sale can I do with them? And so on...

 Responsive employer? Forget about it...
I was landing few days on a website of  a company displaying such a logo and guess what?
The first form where  I have had to insert some answers was totally visual.
If you can't see the picture from the question you can't give the right answer.
Who ever checked how this  companys receive such a distinction?
Only because they possible have a disable person employed and a disable toilet in their building they can call them self responsive employer?

I am absolutely fed up with all of this.
I thing lots of good things are already done for disable people, and lots of things are ongoing but still lots of work to do until our society from bottom to top will be an inclusive one.
And, for what in the world to not put more pressure on making digital world accessible if we spend countless hours with technology already?

Sorry for the radical words but ....

Best Wishes Adrian Tamasan



-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Green <steve.green at testpartners.co.uk>
Sent: 11 October 2019 02:50
To: BCAB Discussion List <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>
Subject: Re: [BCAB] Whether it is Accessible or Useable that is the Question

There was a significant change in WCAG, although that was 11 years ago. WCAG
1.0 assumed that websites would be built using HTML, CSS and JavaScript, so there were specific tests such as the website had to work if JavaScript or stylesheets are turned off. The problem with this approach is that you could not sensibly apply the guidelines to other technologies such as PDF or mobile applications.

WCAG 2.0 was published in 2008 and there was a massive change. The new guidelines are technology agnostic, so in principle they can be applied not only to existing technologies, but to new technologies in the future. It also introduced the concept of "accessibility supported technologies", which refers to technologies that are available easily and free or very low cost.

JavaScript and CSS are examples of accessibility supported technologies because there are many free browsers that support them. Website designers can therefore assume that everyone has access to a browser that supports JavaScript and stylesheets, so websites no longer have to work without them in order to be WCAG compliant.

With regard to usability, sighted people have a massive advantage insofar as they immediately get a holistic overview of a page within a few seconds of it loading. They can see how large the page is, they can see the most important things on it, they can see all the subheadings and they can see groups of links such as menus. On a well designed page it takes them no time at all to get the information they want, and most websites actually aren't that bad for them.

Unfortunately, the one size fits all, or universal design, is a myth. It might have been possible 25 years ago when the web was very young and websites were very simple, but it's not possible now except on trivially simple websites. We do a lot of website user testing with people with a wide range of disabilities and a range of proficiency levels, and one of the challenges is that people sometimes want mutually exclusive things. Design features that improve usability for some people, can cause problems for others.

In principle, this could be addressed by providing personalisation options so people can adjust the design to meet their needs, such as by using high contrast or low contrast colour schemes or high visibility focus indicators.
However, the reality is that almost no one except power uses take advantage of the personalisation options that have been built into every browser for
25 years. Providing more options probably isn't going to help unless someone as influential as Google implement a solution that becomes a standard that everyone becomes familiar with.

Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: Vic Pereira <vic.pereira at virn.ca>
Sent: 10 October 2019 22:53
To: 'BCAB Discussion List' <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>
Subject: Re: [BCAB] Whether it is Accessible or Useable that is the Question

It has been sometime, but I do remember something about WCAG moving from being prescriptive to something akin to being more philosophical. I am sure there is a better explanation, however it escapes me right now.

One huge hurdle I often come across when helping people learn a new technology or learn a new way to interact with a computer is that websites are often designed from the view of the developer or business. It is not too often we come across a site that is designed from how a customer or client can easily use it right away. Taking out the fact of not being able to see it out of the equation I am sure I am not the only person that notices sighted people taking a long time to read over a web page before they grasp what is expected or how to get to the information they want.

When something falls into the camp of being perception it is difficult to come up with a one size fits all. If we can get to a one size fits most that would be a significant step in the right direction.

Vic


-----Original Message-----
From: Barry Hill <barry.hill3 at sky.com>
Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2019 08:16 AM
To: 'BCAB Discussion List' <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>
Subject: Re: [BCAB] Whether it is Accessible or Useable that is the Question

For me, accessibility and usability are semantics.  I go by the POUR model:
A website or app needs to be Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust.  Here's more on that:
https://nam04.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwebaim.org
%2Farticles%2Fpour%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7Cb194eda2fb6b4738d5bf08d74ded675b
%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637063554346417705&sdata=I
vGQJSFpNaXkvwdr3cLRXm7GfouUZJ96QI1X3%2BFCeXc%3D&reserved=0

, ,
Cheers

B



-----Original Message-----
From: Vic Pereira <vic.pereira at virn.ca>
Sent: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 9:27 PM
To: 'BCAB Discussion List' <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>
Subject: [BCAB] Whether it is Accessible or Useable that is the Question

Good day everyone

Determining whether or not a website is accessible or useable has always been a difficult question for me. Several years ago I helped a bit with the WCAG effort. At times it was obvious when a website wasn't accessible to a person who had low vision or no vision, especially when adaptive or assistive technologies needed to be used.

I also came across several examples of websites that were more difficult, however with some investment in learning the basic text to speech software navigation functions the experience became much more positive.

When a website uses embedded headings, tables, actual controls etc. it can work very nicely if a person is comfortable using the text to speech software functions to move between elements and navigate tables.

Now if a person wasn't able to invest the time in learning the adaptive or assistive technology and issues complaints about websites not being useable I have no idea where to put the blame. This is outside of having a learning or cognitive disability of course.

Vic


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