Accessibility IRC Chat – 3rd April 2013

A few of us took part in the IRC chat yesterday (see transcript here). Not surprisingly the main subject was the Add Media Panel accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (, and the format of the chat turned into a live screen reader test on the functionality performed by @_Redd and @arush (and myself).

@lessbloat had kindly had a go at implementing my quick and dirty pragmatic ARIA solution – for which we are truly grateful. Once we’d got access to an environment where the changes were in effect we could see that vast improvements had been made to the accessibility.

I’ll save the detail to the blog post about Add Media Panel but to summarise:

  • Keyboard-only users can now tab through the items in the media list and select/deselect using Enter key
  • Screen reader users were getting some useful information but possibly only the newest versions can fully use this functionality.
  • Voice recognition users can at least use the tab commands to move around the list and select them.

The key decision now is whether the functionality is useful and solid enough to include in 3.6. A couple of extra enhancements would make the solution better for screen reader users – once again see previous post.

My vote would be to run with it if we can get the small further enhancements. We can hopefully address the rest of the accessibility issues within 3.7.  But what do you think?

#accessibility, #add-media, #irc, #keyboard, #media-manager, #screen-reader, #testing