Category: socialmedia

Easy Chirp 2 soft beta launched!

Web Axe author Dennis Lembree has announced the soft release of Easy Chirp 2 beta! Easy Chirp, originally named Accessible Twitter, is a web-based Twitter application which is developed to be easy to use, robust (even works without JavaScript), and of course accessible. The service was down for a few months during a complete re-build mostly due to the closure of Twitter’s original API.

The soft launch is on the dot org domain; the service will be available on the dot com domain during the official release. Currently on the dot com domain, you can sign up for an announcement when the official launch occurs.

For more information, check out this blog about the Easy Chirp 2 beta by Laura Legendary (@Accessible_Info) on her Accessible Insights blog.

You can follow Easy Chirp on Twitter at @EasyChirp.

EasyChirp2 logo beta

Companies’ Accessibility Twitter Accounts and More

Here are some large companies’ accessibility Twitter accounts, and other important related links. Follow for great information. Most of the descriptions are taken from the Twitter bio.

  • @PayPalinclusive – An official feed from the PayPal Accessibility Team and related initiatives. For account-related issues, contact @AskPayPal. San Jose, California.
  • @IBMaccess – Official IBM Accessibility Twitter account. Managed by @timjpowers & @Mac690 and follows the IBM Social Computing Guidelines. San Jose, CA · ibm.com/able
  • @GoogleAccess – The official Twitter account for Google’s accessibility team. California, USA · google.com/accessibility/
  • @FBaccess – The official Twitter account for the Facebook accessibility team. Please report specific accessibility issues at the Facebook accessibility help center.
  • @NokiaAccess – Making mobile devices accessible for all. Dallas, Texas · nokiaaccessibility.com
  • @w3c_wai – not really a “company” but the owner of WCAG. Nuff said.
  • @STCaccess – [Society for Technical Communication] Tweets from the SIG (Karen and Cyn) about accessibility issues for technical communicators, spiced with dashes of usability and other goodies. stc-access.org
  • @BBCOuch – blog and radio talk show on the BBC with a focus on disabled people and diverse stories. London · bbc.co.uk/ouch/
  • @YahooAccess – closed, very sad. Hopefully will come back one day. Also, the Yahoo accessibility blog appears to be no longer maintained.

And of course, follow me on Twitter at @WebAxe and also on my Facebook.

More

Make a Pledge for Easy Chirp 2

As you may know, Easy Chirp is a web-based Twitter client which makes the social media service accessible to all. This includes users with a disability (such as visual impairments and motor impairments), Twitter newbies, older users, low bandwidth, and non-JavaScript browsers.

Like all 3rd party Twitter apps, Easy Chirp gets its data from the Twitter API. Easy Chirp uses API version 1.0 which is being shut down in one month. It must be re-built with version 1.1.

The author of Easy Chirp (who is also the author of Web Axe) created a Kickstarter campaign to acquire minimal funds to rebuild the app with the help of a couple of other developers. At the time of writing, the goal is a little over half-way. Please consider making a pledge on the Easy Chirp 2 Kickstarter and help maintain “an inclusive Twittersphere”. If you’re unable to pledge, please forward this message to those who may be interested.

If the goal of the campaign is not met, there’s a good chance that Easy Chirp will not be updated and Twitter will not be available to those who need it.

Easy Chirp Kickstarter

Google Plus Keyboard Accessibility

Social media in general has major accessibility problems. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook all certainly need improvement.

Google’s latest attempt at social media, Google Plus, launched a short time ago. This time, Google says they “considered accessibility of Google+ from day 1“. Although it’s a much better attempt at accessibility than the ill-fated Google Wave, Google Plus still has a lot of room for improvement.

I’ve only come across one Google+ accessibility review, Will Blind Users Be +1ing?, by a visually impaired user. So I decided to do some more testing myself. Once I got started, it quickly became apparent that only keyboard access checks were needed to determine how much more work needs to be done, as there were many, unfortunately.

Below are some of the web accessibility issues I found on Google Plus, all keyboard access issues.

Home/stream page

  • Tab into “Share” flyout but couldn’t get out without mouse. Strange since you can use Escape key to close the Notifications and Options flyouts.
  • In right column under “Suggestions”, can tab to “Add to circles” button but can’t activate it. Also, unable to tab to “Show all” link.
  • Under stream in left column, the circles links do not have visual focus state.

On a profile page

  • Unable to open Circles options.
  • Can open “Send an email” dialog, but upon closing, focus is lost and returned to top of page.
  • The text and image links in left column have no visual focus indicator, (how frustrating!): People in common, In [username] circles, Have [username] in circles.
  • On posts, no visual focus on “limited” link.
  • On posts, options are not keyboard accessible.

Photos page

  • After selecting a page number or prev/next, focus is lost and returned to top of page.
  • Image hover event not available with focus.
  • Can open image view, but upon closing, focus is lost and returned to top of page.
  • After opening image view, no visual focus on almost everything, I’m lost.
  • After opening image view, unable to select arrows to go to prev/next image.

Circles page

I give up. None of the main content on this page is keyboard accessible. No wonder why screen reader users can’t add people to circle; requires mouse-only drag-and-drop. I guess Google missed Opera’s article on accessible drag-and-drop using ARIA.

Global

  • No visual focus on footer links: Terms – Content Policy – Privacy

Summary

Google+ is more accessible than most Google apps, especially for a new one. But that’s not saying much; there are still many issues to resolve. And again, the list of problems on this post are only a subset of issues. It’s sad the such a huge, powerful, rich technology company can’t get the basics of web accessibility, even when they planned it from the start.

PS: When setting up Google voice and video chat, I quickly came across two “click here” links, yuck!

Fixing Alt – Social Media Definition by Peeing

Social Media Definition by Peeing by Mindjumpers is a pretty funny cartoon. Like most, unfortunately, there is no alternative text provided. So in the second of the “Fixing Alt” series, I’ve taken the liberty of providing it. The cartoon is one large graphic with multiple images. Here’s the alt text, with each image in a bullet point:

  • Man in Twitter t-shirt, holding crotch, face strained: “I need to pee.”
  • Man in Facebook t-shirt, hands on hips, pee on floor: “I just peed.”
  • Man in Foursquare t-shirt pointing at pee on floor: “I’m peeing here.”
  • Man in Slideshare t-shirt, arms raised: “Why I am Great at Peeing.”
  • Man in Delicious t-shirt with arms crossed: “I collect my pee.”
  • Man in YouTube t-shirt, holding and pointing to cup of pee: “Watch this pee!”
  • Man in LinkedIn t-shirt peeing into cup on floor: “I pee well.”
  • Man in Digg t-shirt, kneeling to 4 cups of pee: “I digg my pee.”
  • Man2 in StumbleUpon t-shirt, man slipping in his pee: “Ups! Discover my pee”
  • Man in Quora t-shirt, scratching chin: “Why am I peeing?”
  • Man in Wikipedia t-shirt, man2 in Wiki t-shirt, woman with pants off, all with arms raised: “Together, we pee-dia!”

Created by MindJumpers.com

Man in Twitter t-shirt, holding crotch, face strained, saying 'I need to pee'.