Too many accessibility specialists understand Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) but don’t understand how conformance issues may or may not impact people with disabilities (PwD).
I’ve reviewed many complaints of WCAG violations that either don’t impact PwD or only cause minor inconveniences.
Automated accessibility tools are great resources but too often results are misunderstood and/or not verified for accuracy.
These results are then given to product owners who spend valuable time and resources trying to fix minor/non-issues instead of focusing on truly serious ones.
It’s crucial that accessibility specialists understand exactly who identified issues impact and how they’re impacted.
For example, keyboard issues. I see many reports that flag keyboard inaccessibility of controls as critical impact for screen reader users only.
Inaccurate and incomplete as:
- Screen reader users may have other ways to access the control lowering the impact
- Keyboard-only users who don’t use assistive technology are not identified but are impacted much more severely
- Users of other kinds of assistive technology may also be impacted at various degrees
As accessibility specialists, we owe it to product owners to provide detailed, accurate accessibility reports.
Reports that allow product owners to prioritize defect fixes accurately and to better understand time and resources needed to address said defects.
Thank you to guest blogger Julie Romanowski for accepting my invitation to be a guest blogger.