In order to optimize a website for search engines, there is a practice of hiding a link from search engines while leaving it, in theory, usable for humans. Unfortunately, this practice is mostly poorly done from an accessibility point of view and it makes these fake links totally inaccessible to disabled people navigating with a keyboard, a screen reader or voice control. Moreover, the usability is also greatly reduced. Proposed solution and thoughts.
Following a tweet from Cedric O in November 2020 about FACIL’iti, many people, including me, replied expressing their disapproval. Despite the very limited reach of my tweet, in December 2020, I received a formal notice from FACIL’iti. I then deleted my tweet but I was served to my home with a subpoena letter from the Judiciary Tribunal of Paris in May 2021. On this day, I appeal to your help to cover my lawyer fees for my defense in this trial. I tell you why.
You may have seen websites with buttons called “Accessibility” or with an icon of a person in a wheelchair or an icon based on the Vitruvian man. Or, yet again, you may have never noticed them because they are sometimes quite hidden. We will call them here “accessibility overlays”.
When you click on one of these buttons, it generally opens a panel with a lot of options to, amongst other things, customise the website’s appearance: increasing text colour contrasts, increasing font size or line height, stopping animations, etc.
On the web, these buttons are becoming more and more present. They are said to be “web accessibility solutions” or “digital accessibility solutions” that make websites accessible or even conform to accessibility standards and therefore to the law.
There’s a lot of blame on these tools. Some people need arguments, sources when it is suggested to them to install this kind of tools instead of implementing a global accessibility approach for a website. I think it is therefore necessary to take stock of the subject to know where we go.