Thursday, October 06, 2011

Accessibility Hall of Shame

If you're putting concert or other information in a graphical format or Flash, whether in email or on your web site, you're excluding potential audience members who are blind. Blind people typically use screen readers, such as JAWS, to read text displayed on computer screens. JAWS needs actual text. It can't extract information from graphic formats.

I've started sending email to organizations that do this. Do you want to alienate potential audience members by making it impossible for them to comprehend your concert information? By all means, go on using Flash and graphics instead of text in your email and on your web sites.

Organizations I've contacted about email received in graphical format:
  • An die Musik, NYC
  • San Francisco Choral Society
I'm hoping to hear back from these groups. If not, I'm sending them printed letters of complaint about this. For the rest of you, make sure you're using plain text or HTML, which screen readers can deal with. Don't put important information in graphics or Flash animations.

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