WAVE and the Firefox Toolbar
If you haven’t seen the news yet, WebAIM announced recently that it will no longer update its well-known WAVE Firefox Toolbar.
From the post: Due to policy and platform changes at Mozilla and lack of support for extension development and bug fixes, we have decided to no longer update the WAVE Firefox toolbar.
They included lots of good news as well, like updates to the WAVE Chrome Extension and the WAVE API. It all got me thinking about how I stopped using Firefox as my primary browser for development long ago.
The WAVE Chrome Extension has been more advanced than its Firefox counterpart for some time. That, plus a number of other indispensable extensions make Chrome my favorite browser for development. Here’s a list of extensions for Chrome that I have active all the time, and use on a regular basis for accessibility testing:
Accessibility Developer Tools: Great for checking overall page accessibility, without the visual interface of WAVE.
aXe: Similar to the Accessibility Developer Tools, but gives you more detailed feedback about page issues.
Color Contrast Analyzer: A fantastic tool that helps judge your page’s contrast, even if you have an image with text over it, or text with opacity.
WAVE: My most used part of WAVE is the “Outline” feature and its feedback about ARIA roles and properties.
Of course, I imagine Firefox may have similar add-ons that developers depend on. If you use another browser as your primary space for developing and testing, what are your most-used extensions and/or add-ons?
News and links
Panel and panelsets discussion: From the post: “There is a school of thought that says there is a common interaction pattern across many of the visual design patterns we use regularly on the web (carousels, accordions, tabs etc.). In an effort to simplify implementation for developers, improve responsive design support, and improve consistency for users, a proposed specification has emerged.”
Accesskey replacement draft: From the draft: “This document proposes a replacement specification of the HTML accesskey attribute, to enable important use cases and solve important bugs.”
Resources, tools and tutorials
- Designing for color blindness (blog post)
- The #a11y, a new podcast by WP Crowd (podcast)
- Creating an accessible ARIA tree control (blog post)
- Assistive technology by people with disabilities, part I: Introducing Team Free to Pee and Assistive technology by people with disabilities, part II: Designing better makeathons (blog posts)
- Where UX fails accessibility (talk/video)
- ARIA Bones (code/resource)
- Adapting empathy maps for UX design (blog post)
- Accessibility requires app developers to consider every end user (blog post)
- How our CSS framework helps enforce accessibility (blog post)
- Which input when? (blog post)
New to A11y
Independence Australia has a primer about the A-Z of disability etiquette, perfect if you’re new to the disability field.
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