There is some controversy about the idea of sighted web designers and developers using screenreading software to test web sites for accessibility. Some people suggest one must use a screenreader to test their sites. Others believe it is counter productive. I think that very few sighted people can get the correct results by using screenreaders to test a website. I further think that too many people think that the accessibility testing is complete once they’ve used a screenreader on their website.
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.
I was looking at a site last night. Ok, I looked at a lot of sites yesterday, but had a specific look at one. They had done the “right” thing and declared an alt attribute to some images. But giving the site a whirl with images turned off, anyone could quickly see that their choice of alt text was not particularly helpful.
We talk about web accessibility, and we most often end up talking about screendreader. Even people who eat and breathe accessibility often end up reverting to that when we meet and discuss our pet topics. But there are many people with different disability types that will benefit from accessibility. And obviously, those without a disability may also benefit from it.