Read How to Use Brand Names on Your WooCommerce Store by Bob Dunn (BobWP – WooCommerce)

Let your customers search your products using the brands that you resell on your WooCommerce online store with lists an widgets.

This site continues to be an excellent resource for user-centered WooCommerce information. wooCommerce is a very powerful, and very complex plugin, and Bob does a great job highlighting extensions and providing instructions for using those extensions as well as the plugin itself in clear, easy-to-read language. Bookmark his site and check back often if you run your own store.
Read What we learned from user testing of accessible client-side routing techniques with Fable Tech Labs by Marcy Sutton

In June 2019, I conducted 5 user testing sessions for accessibility research with Fable Tech Labs, a Toronto-based start-up that’s “making it easier for digital teams to engage people with disabilities in product development.”
The goal of this initiative was to gather feedback from users with disabilities on a set of prototypes with navigation techniques for JavaScript web apps. There are multiple variations recommended in the industry for accessible, client-rendered page changes, yet very little user research on those methods. Therefore, we wanted to find out which techniques are the most ergonomic and intuitive to users with disabilities, and if any of the techniques presented barriers detracting from their browsing experience.

Read Facebook’s Image Outage Reminds Us How Bad Social Media Accessibility Really Is by Kalev Leetaru (Forbes)

Facebook’s brief image outage earlier this week exposed the general public to just how bad accessibility really is in our modern visual-first social Web. While governments and the technology community are investing heavily in AI bias, they care little about accessibility bias.

I don’t use Facebook very much these days, so I heard about the media outage from the outside. And yes, while there have been improvements, and while I’m not placing blame on Facebook’s accessibility team, the accessibility isn’t great even when the AI so-called alt text functionality is working. The best alt text is text which exposes the context of the image being described, and this is down to content creators. This incident is a prime example of why accessibility advocates and consumer organizations should not be using Facebook as their primary distribution platform. If you must use something like Facebook, then you have a responsibility to make the content you host there as accessible as you can by learning how to add alternative text to your images and, (if you’re using Facebook Live), to transcribe that content and host those transcriptions somewhere else until you can make arrangements to use either a different third-party platform or your own platform, otherwise known as your own website.
Read I Am Cookie Dough by Allie Nimmons (HeroPress)

I was always told I had to go to college. I was “gifted” so learning came easy and I enjoyed it.  From ages 6 to 18, I went to competitive accelerated schools designed to churn out college students. It was a narrow path I’d been set on, without encouragement to explore beyond.

These posts are often times the highlight of my week.
Read Inaccessibility of CAPTCHA

Various approaches have been employed over many years to distinguish human users of web sites from robots. The traditional CAPTCHA approach asking users to identify obscured text in an image remains common, but other approaches have emerged. All interactive approaches require users to perform a task believed to be relatively easy for humans but difficult for robots. Unfortunately the very nature of the interactive task inherently excludes many people with disabilities, resulting in a denial of service to these users. Research findings also indicate that many popular CAPTCHA techniques are no longer particularly effective or secure, further complicating the challenge of providing services secured from robotic intrusion yet accessible to people with disabilities. This document examines a number of approaches that allow systems to test for human users and the extent to which these approaches adequately accommodate people with disabilities, including recent noninteractive and tokenized approaches.

Read How accessibility trees inform assistive tech by Hidde de Vries (Mozilla Hacks – the Web developer blog)

The web was designed with built-in features to make accessibility possible; these have been part of the platform pretty much from the beginning. In recent times, inspectable accessibility trees have made it easier to see how things work in practice. In this post we’ll look at how “good” client-side code (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) improves the experience of users of assistive technologies, and how we can use accessibility trees to help verify our work on the user experience.

Read Understanding SC 3.2.1 on Focus by Raghavendra Satish Peri (Digital A11y)

3.2.1 On Focus: When any component receives focus, it does not initiate a change of context. (Level A) The intent of this success criterion is to make sure that any unwanted actions are not initiated when focus moves on to an element. For example during tab navigation or shift tab navigation if user focus moves on to a link & a modal is triggered this fails this check point. Here user did not initiate this action; it was initiated when user focus moved on to a particular element.

Read How new accessibility standard ISO 30071-1 helps developers by Jonathan Hassell

There’s a new international accessibility standard out – ISO 30071-1 – about embedding accessibility in your organisation and processes.
So why should we, as developers, care…?
Aren’t the WCAG checkpoints for developers, and the new ISO for the product/project managers?
Developers don’t have time to be reading every new bit of writing around accessibility. There’s loads of articles out there – some new, some old, some reliable, some misguided. An international standard should be able to be trusted, but does it give developers any solutions for tricky accessibility challenges that they may face?

Read The Anatomy of Accessible Forms: The Problem with Placeholders by Deque Systems (Deque)

Instructions help users to submit forms successfully. However, if the instructions are provided with a placeholder attribute, then the user might not be able to use that instruction effectively.

Yet another example of the need for HTML elements and attributes to be used as intended by the specification.
Read The difference between keyboard and screen reader navigation by léonie Watson (Tink)

People often include screen reader users in the much larger group of keyboard-only users. Whilst this is correct (most screen reader users don’t use a mouse), it also creates a false impression of the way screen reader users navigate content.

This is a really good primer for anyone building things for the web as well as screen reader users on the differences between screen reader and keyboard navigation. I’ve seen lots of situations where the two are conflated, by both developers and screen reader users.

Also, I really like the footer text on léonie’s site.

Read Source Order Matters by Adrian Roselli (Adrian Roselli)

CSS is providing newer and more complex methods of laying out your pages. Given the multiple form factors a responsive site has to support, it makes sense that developers want easy ways to structure the layouts that aren’t all floats, clears and position: absolutes.
Regardless of how you want your layout to appear in a browser, you must keep in mind that a clear HTML structure is [start of stricken text] important to search engines[end stricken text] . Sorry, while the bit about search engines is true, it’s not really what I consider important, but it is more likely to get some people to pay attention.

I still think it’s pretty messed up that, for the purpose of getting the topic of equal access for all on the web some play, we have to refer to the benefits for search engine optimization, (most of which are myths), because that’s the only way most people are going to pay attention. It’s either that, or try scaring people by reminding that eventually, they won’t be fully abled. I get it, I’m not going to stop doing it, but it’s still one of the less-desirable, less-lovable parts of accessibility for me.
Read HTML Source Order vs CSS Display Order by Adrian Roselli (Adrian Roselli)

Last month in my post Source Order Matters I wrote about why we need to consider how the source order of the HTML of a page can affect users when the CSS re-orders the content visually. While I used a recipe as an analogue and cited WCAG conformance rules, I failed to provide specific examples. I prepared one for my talk at Accessibility Camp Toronto, but have since expanded on it with more examples.
I want to make sure that we all understand that the source order versus display order discussion is not unique to CSS Flexbox. It is not unique to CSS Grids. Many developers have been dealing with this (correctly and incorrectly) since CSS floats and absolute positioning were introduced (and even earlier with tabled layouts). As such, I have examples of each in this post (no tabled layouts).

Worth a read and reread by anyone doing anything with CSS. For some reason, Adrian’s feed was not in my RSS reader. This is now fixed.
Read The Mac Open Web (Bitsplitting.org)

These days, as the giant social networks behave more and more reprehensibly, many people are looking back to the “good old days” of the web, when self-published blogs were the primary means of sharing one’s thoughts.
Brian Warren has taken this enthusiasm, and combined it with his nostalgia for another classic resource: the links page.

This one is devoted to all things Mack and iOS that allow you to consume and create content for the open web. I don’t have a Mack, and have not gone through all the iOS apps yet, so you’ll have to test the accessibility of some or all of these apps for yourself. Indieweb developers are very open to accessibility feedback though, and this includes implementing things for the sake of accessibility, so this is sort of the one place where productive conversations about accessibility which don’t involve accessibility folks talking to each other are still possible.
Read Defining PDF Accessibility by WebAIM: Web Accessibility In Mind

When people talk about “accessible” PDF files, they are usually referring to “tagged” PDF files. PDF tags provide a hidden, structured representation of the PDF content that is presented to screen readers. They exist for accessibility purposes only and have no visible effect on the PDF file. There is more to an accessible PDF file than tags, but an untagged PDF would not be considered “accessible”.

Read The boring front-end developer by Adam Silver (Adamsilver.io)

Cool front-end developers are always pushing the envelope, jumping out of their seat to use the latest and greatest and shiniest of UI frameworks and libraries. However, there is another kind of front-end developer, the boring front-end developer. Here is an ode to the boring front-end developer, BFED if you will.

I’m not saying that a framework or design style is automatically rendered inaccessible simply by virtue of its becoming trendy. It’s worth pointing out though that, if there were less emphasis on using the hottest thing and more on all the very unsexy parts of front-end development, (semantic HTML, properly written CSS, designing with things like color contrast in mind), the web would be a lot less problematic from an inclusive design standpoint.
Read WordPress 5.2: Mitigating Supply-Chain Attacks Against 33% of the Internet by Scott Arciszewski

WordPress 3.7 was released on October 24, 2013 and introduced an automatic update mechanism to ensure security fixes would be automatically deployed on all WordPress sites, in an effort to prevent recently-patched vulnerabilities from being massively exploited in the wild. This is widely regarded by security experts as a good idea.
However, the WordPress automatic update feature had one glaring Achilles’ heel: If a criminal or nation state were to hack into the WordPress update server, they could trigger a fake automatic update to infect WordPress sites with malware.
This isn’t just a theoretical concern, it could have happened if not for WordFence’s security researchers finding and disclosing an easy attack vector into their infrastructure.
WordPress 5.2 was released on May 7, 2019 and provides the first real layer of defense against a compromised update infrastructures: offline digital signatures.