Accessibility is not just for blind, agreed… but we don’t have to blame!

15 Sep

Accessibility is not just for blind, agreed… but we don’t have to blame!

When Google announced it’s course on Introduction to Web Accessibility for developers, I keep seeing tweets saying “Hey Google! Accessibility is not just for blind” etc., and I thought I should write my opinion here Please note that this blog is my personal and views expressed here are my own and does not represent my employer (PayPal, eBay Inc) or my past employers in anyway.

Screenshot from Twitter saying "Google, accessibility is not just for blind" Image from my twitter stream
Screenshot from Twitter saying “Google, accessibility is not just for blind” Image from my twitter stream

Yes, I completely agree that Accessibility is not just about blind or screen readers and I advocate this too. Also, I do think from prospective of every disability and in fact, beyond disabilities as well as technologies like search engines. But I don’t really blame anyone if someone implement accessibility features that helps blind users alone. Everyone have their own limitations and everyone can only do so much with their resources and time. I don’t think anyone would have a strict line saying tht they should only do for a particular disability and ignore others. Also, as someone pointed out in some blog (apologize, I don’t have reference right now) that visual disability is widely represented when it comes to web accessibility. In particular scenario with Google course, OK, let’s assume that Google has developed keeping blind users in mind, great… there is a start and mey be they may not have enough resources to work on other disabilities or they might be having plans in place. No one can do everything at one time. And I’m sure, having solved problems like captioning for videos, Google definitely would be aware and concerned about other disabilities too. So I would say instead just telling them “Accessibility is not just for blind users” let’s send them a constructive feedback about the course and help them to enhance their course that caters to everyone.

Also, I have read in some tweets and on WAI IG list that course is talking about ARIA and so on hence it’s not an introductory course. I agree with the statement though but my take on this is that Google might thought since there are already enough resources to introduce Accessibility at the basic level, thy should introduce something that helps today’s web development. Is there anyone today building their website with basic HTML code?

So personally I think, let us welcome whatever is started and contribute our best to make it a complete resource. Agreed?

Once again disclaimer: Views expressed here are my personal and does NOT represent my employer or past employers.
PS: I’m OK to remove Twitter screenshot if Tweet author has any objection. Please let me know.

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BySrinivasu Chakravarthula

I am an enthusiast of accessibility and classical music.

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