Global Accessibility Awareness Day – JAWS Screen Reader Demo


My name is Mike Jones and I’m a Screen Reader
analyst at the Digital Accessibility Centre in Neath, South Wales Today I’ll be demonstrating four of the main
issues that I would commonly come across both personally and professionally using JAWS 16
and Internet Explorer 11 and in this case, the Mr Porter Website Firstly I’ll demonstrate unlabeled form fields So there you heard 2 separate form elements
unlabeled edit field and unlabeled three button the issue with unlabeled form fields is that
a screen reader user is unable to understand what accessing the button will achieve or
what needs to be entered into the fields which can be particularly problematic in relation
to forms or such things as applications. All form elements must be given a fully descriptive
and specific label to ensure that the user is able and aware of what they need to enter. Next is the heading structure. Now those first two levels have started with 3, the issue here is the structure is not logical, it doesn’t
follow a hierarchical structure, there is no H1 on the page and the levels just aren’t
consecutive. The issue here is that the screen reader user
is unable to understand how the headings relate to the content on the page, so the H1 needs
to relate to the main content, subsection is an H2, sub-subsection is a H3 and so on
as otherwise the page can be very difficult for a screen reader user to understand and
work out how things are laid out. The next issue is in relation to images. As you heard there you had such things as ‘driving shoes’, ‘sport’ these are actually decorative
images, which don’t make a lot of sense to a screen reader user. Decorative images should
be given a ‘null attribute’ to ensure that the user isn’t affected by them. As a blind
user I am unaware of what those images are actually attempting to show me and it just creates
additional navigation on the page which isn’t useful and is often confusing. The final issue is non descriptive links. As you heard there the link in this case reads as a URL. That is very confusing both in and
out of context as it’s not sure where the link will take you. All link text needs to
be fully descriptive to give a clear indication of where the user will be taken, avoid URL’s
and such comments as ‘click here’, ‘find out more’ as the user can’t really understand
those out of context and can often be very tricky in context when arrowing through the
page.

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