Category Archives: software

Introducing A11y Toggle

If you’re only here for the code, go straight to the GitHub repository.

A few weeks ago, I introduced a11y-dialog. Today, I am coming back with another accessibility-focused module: a11y-toggle.

At Edenspiekermann, we used to heavily rely on the checkbox hack to toggle content visibility. Unfortunately, this hack (the word is an understatement) involves some usability and accessibility concerns.

What’s wrong with the checkbox hack?

That’s a lot of people excluded just for the sake of simplicity (which is also arguable). On top of that, the checkbox hack has some accessibility issues. See, for a content toggle to be fully accessible to assistive technology users, it should respect the following:

So we need JavaScript (unfortunately). However, we don’t need a hell lot of it. A few lines are enough. And that’s precisely what a11y-toggle does (in roughly 300 bytes once gzipped). It just makes it work™.


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The Accessibility Difference Between Aria-hidden and role=”presentation”

In dealing with role=”presentation” and aria-hidden=”true” you may find that they both have deceptively similar functions when it relates to how they interact with assistive technology (screen readers). Before we dig into the difference between these two attributes we first need to learn a little bit about how accessibility in a Web browser works and this thing called: The Accessibility Tree

The Accessibility Tree

The accessibility tree is a mapping of objects within an HTML document that need to be exposed to assistive technology (if you’re familiar with the DOM, it’s a subset of the DOM). Anything that communicates aspects of the UI or has a property or relationship that needs to be exposed, gets added to the tree.

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Accessibility in Office 365—enabling greater digital inclusion – Office Blogs

The 2016 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), focuses on laying the foundation for a future of greater inclusion for persons with disabilities. In honor of IDPD, we invite all Office 365 customers to lay the foundation for a more inclusive digital environment by discovering and using accessibility capabilities built into Office 365.

Create accessible content with Office 365

Office 365 empowers you to communicate information to your colleagues and customers in a variety of ways: documents, presentations, spreadsheets, emails, chats, sways, notes, videos and more. As you communicate, it is important to meet the diverse needs of your audience. Making your content accessible ensures it can be used without barriers by people with varying levels of vision, hearing, cognition and mobility.

Q. How can I get help with accessibility issues?A. Visit the Office Accessibility Center to find support articles on creating accessible content with Office 365 applications on various platforms or on using Office 365 applications with specific assistive technologies. If you require further assistance, reach out to an accessibility specialist via the Enterprise Disability Answer Desk or Consumer Disability Answer Desk.

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The Importance of Accessibility in the Dev Process

Developers rarely talk about the importance of having the right accessibility strategy or tool in place to help with our development. Actually, we barely seem to talk about having an accessibility strategy or tool at all.With the issue of accessibility at an all-time high, it’s time we, as a development community, talk about the importance of web accessibility— something more comprehensive than just using a screen reader as a tool to assist us, but ensuring our team of developers is on the same page.


Whether it’s working together via Slack, Drive, or Basecamp, being able to communicate quickly and concisely back and forth is a big deal. It helps keep things moving and provides a virtual gathering space for ideas, discussions, and documents. But accessibility issues aren’t as cut and dry as sharing a document for most people. For many, it is a complex web of rules and guidelines that many times seem insurmountable and overwhelming. How can we navigate all these subtleties easily as a team?

We need to be on the same page, speaking the same language. Having a shared vocabulary helps facilitate communication between team members (and clients) and allows us to solve problems more efficiently. Dev teams should be keeping up with accessibility rules and guidelines, to help establish a shared accessibility vocabulary. Ensuring everyone is on the same page with types of accessibility issues and guidelines will help keep things clear and consistent.

Given the amount of accessibility guidelines and rules, having an automated system to flag errors would be helpful. It is much more efficient to have a third party do it for you and it also frees up your team to tackle the problem instead of having to determine, find, and fix issues.

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Simple Ways to Make Your WordPress Site Accessible

Web site accessibility has been a lingering issue on the Internet for quite some time. However, with several laws in the US pushing website accessibility as a primary feature in public and private web entities, it has affected the Internet on a wider scale.

Accessibility has been proven to be beneficial to websites, public or businesses alike. Certain sites were slapped with legal complications, like this court case of a visually impaired handicap versus a luggage company. This also creates a positive PR for your website; social responsibility is a desirable trait that often gets a nod from the online community.

On the other hand, it positively affects your website’s search engine rankings as well. Website accessibility is good for SEO, as making your website accessible requires you to input text that can be read by screen readers and web crawlers alike.

It improves usability for the handicapped and non-handicapped. It also broadens your market reach. In the UK alone, since 2015, the number of disabled adults who had used the internet in the last 3 months has increased by 6.8% to 8.6 million in 2016. Imagine reaching out to 8.6 million more visitors and prospective buyers!

The disabled may be a minor group, but there’s strength in their numbers. The following simple tweaks will help your website gain more followers as you make your site accessible to all:

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Windows 10 upgrade for assistive technology users

For the general public, the free upgrade offer to Windows 10 ends on 29 July. However, if you use assistive technologies, you can still get the free upgrade offer even after the general public deadline expires, as Microsoft continues our efforts to improve the Windows 10 experience for people who use these technologies.

With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, we’ve taken a number of steps to improve the accessibility of Windows 10 accessibility. To learn more, read our blog that details some of these improve

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