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Accessibility - large site needs lot's of work - advice?

     
3:27 pm on Jul 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I inherited the maintenance of a 1500 page site that was a real mess. After lot's of time cleaning it up and making it responsive I'm now looking for the first time at accessibility issues. I know very little about the topic. I quick check of the site with WAVE (http://wave.webaim.org/) returns many, many, issues. Some reported issues make sense to me, some don't. It's evident that lot's of work needs to be done and this is going to be a long process.

I'm simply looking for any real practical advice/info that might help me prioritize, etc? What's important, what's not, etc.

I guess first question would be... Is WAVE a good tool to use and follow or is something else recommended? Any comments? Any advice? Just looking for some good, practical, comments on fixing Accessibility issues.

.
5:21 pm on July 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I think like any tool, it gives you some starting points. Obviously there are a lot of tools

[w3.org...]

And a scan with some tool at least surfaces your list. Ultimately it's like any tool (SEO scans or whatever), though. Lots of false positives or things that aren't that important.

I like the WCAG ready reference as a way to get a high-level view
[w3.org...]

WCAG 2.0 got rid of the idea of priority, but there is a nice comparison chart that maps 1.0 priorities onto 2.0 and that can help make a battle plan.
[w3.org...]
2:28 am on July 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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sorry for the delay in my reply but thank you for your response. Much appreciated and very good references and guides. Thanks!
8:20 pm on July 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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No worries. Glad you found it helpful. It would be great if you stopped back in to report on what you learn and how it goes.
1:45 pm on July 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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We have an opt-in email list of almost 7k subscribers. Our emails are daily articles/reports. These same reports appear on our website each day. I recently sent out an email asking our blind and visually impaired readers about the "tools" they use to "read" our emails, and eBooks (we offer pdf, mobi, epub versions). I also asked about the navigation of our website.

I was expecting bad news because accessibility testers report the site as having lot's of problems. I was surprised when most responders shared that they didn't have too many issues with our website, or, with our mailings. So that makes me question the practicality of "accessibility testers."

The issue seems to be pdf eBooks which are pretty much simple Adobe PDF files. In fact, most responders voiced frustration over the reading of pdf's in general. Most use JAWS reader (Windows) but there just seems to be no good pdf "reader" according to respondents. Most requested that a plain text file of the reports to be made available to them.
8:30 pm on July 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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>>question the practicality of "accessibility testers."

That's sort of what I meant about "starting points," meaning tools can highlight big problems. But most tools, whether accessibility or page speed or what have you, have many false positives and miss big items because the simple checklists only take them so far.

You raise a really interesting question though: how do you do usability testing for users with accessibility issues? There are lots of great tools out there (Usability Hub comes to mind, but there's another one I'm blanking on) for simple tests, but almost none of them work for the visually impaired.
9:35 pm on July 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Iwas referring to "accessibility" tools. This is the first one I tried:
[wave.webaim.org...]

refer to: [w3.org...]
3:23 am on July 30, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Sure, I understood what you meant. I was simply saying that most tools have issues similar to what you encountered, not just accessibility tools. Automated testing just isn't that smart yet.

And as to the rest, I just meant to say that you got me pondering how one would do classic usability prototyping for visually impaired. Many of those tools involve mockups that, of course, wouldn't work in a screenreader. So yeah, nothing to do with your topic really, but reading your comments brought the problem to mind.
 

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