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Discussion on: A11y for everyone: Building inclusive and accessible web applications

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brettjephson profile image
Brett Jephson

Really enjoyed the talk Gift.

A couple of questions:

Firstly, there are a lot of tools out there to help with accessibility but some seem to promise too much. I've heard a lot of accessibility experts say relying on such tools alone can cause a lot of issues and even get well-meaning teams sued. Any thoughts on that?

Secondly, do you have any advice relating to accessibility and user-generated content? For example, if a user uploads an image, is there anything more we can do than letting them populate the alt field to make that image accessible?

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lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu • Edited

Hi, @brettjephson Thanks I'm glad you enjoyed my talk!

To answer your first question, I'll say we should not rely 100% on the tools. Sometimes going ahead to carry out manual checks and automated checks with tools like Axe and Cypress could help and If it's possible to test with people with disabilities before deploying that's another great way of covering all the edge cases.

Secondly, I haven't really seen this implemented as much on the web but thinking about this question it will be a very important feature to add alt text field option before uploading images. I can see how this will generally help improve a11y.

The only example I can think of right now is how Twitter handles this same scenario. You can add an alt text before posting images.

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brettjephson profile image
Brett Jephson

I agree on both points.

On the second one, the Twitter example was one I was thinking of. Great that we can add alt tags to images but it really relies on expert users.

I suppose increasing awareness is a huge part of the answer but wondering if there are any ways of enhancing that. Some AI/ML solutions promise a lot but they mostly offer very literal image descriptions that don’t necessarily relate to the purpose of the image.

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