Chris Ashton

week11y issue 2

Your weekly frequent11y newsletter, brought to you by @ChrisBAshton:

Blue button with white text fails WCAG with contrast ratio 2.94, whereas version with black text passes with contrast ratio 5.41 despite being anecdotally harder to read.
  • The Myths of Color Contrast Accessibility
    • This article refutes some common accessibility guidance, such as the need to use more than just color to denote information (it argues that contrast alone can be sufficient if denoting toggle state. But for something like error state, an additional cue such as icon is required). There’s a really interesting screenshot early in the article showing the contrast ratios of two buttons: one comfortably passes WCAG guidelines and the other doesn’t, despite being easier to read. Well worth reading in full.
  • Samsung Good Vibes (video, 3 minutes)
    • An advert for Samsung Good Vibes; a messaging app that allows deafblind people to send Morse code – translated into text or voice for recipients – and receive responses as Morse code vibrations. The video shows a family struggling to care for and communicate with their deafblind daughter, forced to send her to a special school. By the end, she gains the skills and independence necessary to use the app to message her parents for the first time, who are also able to communicate back. I’m normally cynical about adverts designed to tug on the heartstrings, but this was quite beautiful and serves as a powerful reminder of the impact technology can have, and its ability to immeasurably improve lives.
  • What I’ve learned about accessibility in SPAs
    • SPAs need you to manage “back button” behaviour yourself: scrolling to the previous scroll position and focussing on the previous element that was clicked (something browser navigation normally does for free). The article doesn’t describe how you can achieve this and mostly isn’t SPA-related at all. The author extols the virtues of accessibility for improving readability of tests (by querying aria attributes for state). I also learned that not all clickable elements necessarily need to be focusable; if you have multiple links to the same destination, you should apply tabindex="-1" to some of them to avoid unnecessary tabbing.
    • Background: Single Page Applications (SPAs) use JavaScript to handle navigation between pages by modifying the DOM and History API.
Screenshot of Mastodon UI with clickable areas highlighted
These links link to the same place, so one of them can be legitimately removed from the tab index.

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