My initial thoughts were to decouple PA11Y from it’s headless browser, and run it as part of the Selenium tests, rather than booting up 2 separate browser instances which would add seconds onto each test they could just both hit the same page when it was open.
However, on closer inspection, it turns out that using both is actually far simpler than I anticipated. PA11Y has the ability to use different ‘runners’ or plugins. So, using axe-core and PA11Y together is as simple as passing in the runners in as an option.
We use axe-core by Deque regularly as part of acceptance tests. With GitLab now offering PA11Y as part of the Continuous Integration (CI) Pipeline with zero config, I wanted to understand how it stacked up against axe-core. Can you drop axe-core for PA11Y? Can you drop PA11Y for axe-core? Should you use both?
5 arguments against accessibility and why they are wrong
In my role, I deal with many different teams and organisations. I also get involved in a bunch of other things on the side, just because accessibility is so misunderstood. One thing which has become quite apparent is that there are some common misconceptions regardless of which team, department or arms-length body you talk to.
I’ve pulled out 5 of the most common arguments I hear for why people think they should be exempt from doing accessibility work.
It’s not citizen facing, only our staff will use it
We don’t have any users who use assistive technology
The supplier plans to make it accessible at some point
Accessibility isn’t a priority right now, we’re working on other features first
Accessibility wasn’t part of the original cost, so we need to claim disproportionate burden
I remember in school we learned about the fire-triangle. Fuel, Oxygen and heat are required to make a fire burn. If you remove any of those things from the equation, the fire will use up what it has left and eventually burn out.
We can think of accessibility in a large organisation in the same way. There are 3 core parts. Compliance, education, and culture. If you lack any of these 3 things over a sustained period of time, the strategy is unsustainable and your ability to consistently deliver accessible services will burn out.
As an interaction designer, I hear a sentence at least once on every project I work on. “We can’t do that because [insert mediocre excuse here].”
A lot of the time this is because of technology restrictions. We can’t integrate with legacy systems. Or, we can, but the legacy system wants the information in a ridiculous format. So we have to change the design to ask for a mandatory middle name, where people have to write “none” in the box to progress. Urgh.
It’s easy to make a snap decision, bow to peer pressure and change the design. After all, we don’t want to waste our time designing something that’s not possible.
The biggest problem with one-page-applications, is they create a terrible experience for people using screen readers.
There is a cognitive issue. Users have to maintain a mental image map of the page in all it’s states. If they click something, and some new content appears. How does your user know what has changed? How do you make them understand what they cannot see? How do you orientate this to their mental map they have been building?
The idea of design-reuse has been around for many years. Walt Disney reused many scenes. They also reused entire characters. Cartoon creators called this reanimation. It’s the process of tracing over existing frames to save time and money.
You may not have noticed before, but Disney’s Baloo and Little John are almost identical. They were even voiced by the same person, Phil Harris.