WebAIM’s Screen Reader Survey a few months ago (October 2009) sure drew a lot of attention, and for good reason. It is a much needed and well written survey, performed by one of the leading organizations in web accessibility, WebAIM. Here are some articles written in response to the survey. If you know any others, please leave a comment and let us know!
Some of the more outstanding results of the survey I believe are:
- The most problematic items seem to be the same predictable items, unfortunately. The top 10 includes CAPTCHA, Flash, alternative text, forms, and headings.
- 42% surveyed said they didn’t know ARIA Landmarks for navigation existed. I highly suspect this number will steadily decrease.
- Although over 66% of users reported JAWS as their primary screen reader, almost half said that free or low-cost screen readers (such as NVDA or VoiceOver) are currently viable alternatives.
I recently came across an article from disaboom called “Assistive Technology: Top 8 Free Browsers for Visual Impairment and More“. The link was also popular on Twitter. But one problem, there are no links to the mentioned browser! So I went and found them:
- WebbIE -accessible browser, RSS news reader and more.
- EdWeb – talking web browser that can display web pages as text and symbols.
- Fire Vox – Talking Browser Extension for Firefox (add-on page).
- CliCk, Speak – less advanced version of Fire Vox.
- Orca – speedy and powerful Gecko-based browser.
- Simply Web 2000 – outdated; optimized for Internet Explorer 5.
- SpeakOn -PC-based media suite program (four apps).
- Thunder – package contains the WebbIE Text browser and more.
I’d like to add that Disaboom is a pretty nice site. In their words:
Disaboom is the leading resource for disability information and real-life articles about people with disabilities. Our broad range of topics, including health conditions, lifestyle, and helpful resources, help you create the life you want.
5 Colleges named in NFB/ACB complaints to OCR & USDOJ are Case Western, U. of Virginia – Darden School of Bus, Pace U., Princeton & Reed College
NFB and ACB file complaints with Office for Civil Rights of US Dept of Ed and USDOJ against 5 Higher Ed Institutions
NFB and ACB file lawsuit vs. Arizona State U- Kindle DX program discriminates vs. the Blind – ADA and Rehab Act violations
So instead of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) having to sue the computer giant, Apple has agreed to make its dominant iTunes software accessible by next year. Here’s a link to the press release from the NFB:
National Federation of the Blind and Commonwealth of Massachusetts Announce Agreement with Apple to Make iTunes Fully Accessible
Apple will make iTunes U (a dedicated area of the iTunes Store for content provided by colleges and universities) fully accessible by December 31, 2008, and will ensure the full accessibility of the iTunes software and the rest of the iTunes Store to blind people using both Mac and Windows operating systems by June 30, 2009.
Also, it seems that the iPod is not accessible. Only the newly released iPod Nano (generation 4) has accessibility features such as spoken menus and high contrast screens.