So recently Google released a brand new browser called ‘Chrome’. It offers a simplified interface and a few "new" features, which are discussed at length already by many other people. I won’t go there. But it’s worth mentionning that the browser is next to unusable for many people with disabilities. Screenreader software is not supported, and keyboard access is quite limited, among other issues.
Steve Faulkner has made a brilliant analysis of Chrome’s accessibility, saving us all a lot of work :) Thanks Steve.
Jonas Klink, software engineer for Google released a statement to the effect that they wanted to "release early" and focused on a clean user interface. He promises "rapid improvement".
Yeah, well, ok. I’m glad to hear that.
But why do I feel like accessibility is once again an after-thought? It’s not a priority, obviously. Oh, they claim they laid the foundation for building accessibility in their browser. So what? What would be the reaction if a builder constructed a brand new "state of the art" museum, with no ramps? "Oh, we’ve planned for ramps, but they were not important enough to delay opening, we’ll put them in as soon as we can". And so a whole lot of people are excluded.
This, to me is discrimination, plain and simple. If accessibility was trully important to Google, as Mr. Klink states, they would have made more of an effort from the get go.
I’m not trying to antagonise anyone here, but I am tired to be made to feel like the poor cousin, always, because of my disability. I look forward to the promised improvements. I’m not quite yet holding my breath.