The Labour Party in New Zealand has a “Make your own billboard” website. This is apparently en effort to get people involved and a start campaigning for the upcoming elections. Except that the website is not accessible to many people with disabilities. Or people using smartphones.
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.
I received an email from a friend who is attending a11yMTL, a conference about web accessibility. Mimi is a graphic designer, who happens to be a wheelchair user. As she knows I grew up in Montréal and have accessibility of both physical structures and the web at heart, she shared with me some of her thoughts. I asked her if I could publish her email here because these are powerful consideration.
It seems wrong that a disability-related organisation would have a website that is not accessible. One really shouldn’t cut out their primary market. It tends to happen when the organisation relies on "professionals" who don’t really have any idea what they are doing. And the organisation just knows that they want a website. Often, they don’t even know enough to realise they should ask about accessibility.