moderated Accessibility Considerations: Restructure Topic Pages Such that Each Message is a Header #suggestion

Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>

The web interface is, how shall I put this, not particularly accessibility friendly for blind and low vision members who use screen readers to access the web.

Virtually everything as far as the controls down the right, all the messages, everything, really, is implemented strictly as a link, which makes quick and reasonable navigation quite impossible.  In the NVDA screen reader, for a short 7-message topic page, this is what you see when you bring up the elements list for the page looking at links:

absolutely everything is there as a link, with no differentiation between levels, and that's how the page is coded.  If I switch to show headings, the one and only thing that shows up is the topic title:

Contrast the above with how the results on an Amazon Search Page, when I search for Garmin DriveSmart 61, are presented:

or the online "front page" of the New York Times a couple of minutes ago:

In the case of both sites, the pertinent results (product listings found, and headlines and other important links) are designated as headings and it's incredibly easy to use same to jump from item to item in the page.

It would seem that on a topic page that the existing message numbers listed for each message could be structured to be headings under HTML, and possibly even include the member name associated with the message in question as part of that heading.  This would make it so very much easier for a screen reader user to actually use the web interface.

The same idea applies when you're on the main messages page for a group.  Each topic itself should be structured as a heading, so that someone looking down a headings list would see essentially the same thing using the screen reader that those of us using vision literally see when we're scanning down the messages page.

Even the control links strip on the left side of the page could me made to be a level 2 or 3 heading, while the data of primary focus on a given page (topics list or individual messages if you're reading a topic) would be at heading level one.

This would give quick, immediate, and, most importantly, logical control for a screen reader user that comes as close to how those of us with vision interact with these pages as possible.   Right now they're virtually impossible to navigate in any reasonable way quickly and easily.

Brian - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.

           ~ Jay Gould, U.S. financier & railroad robber baron (1836 - 1892)


Absolutely agree on everything! The main email is but I, for one, thank you for posting this here. In all the times I've written to groups io, he has solved one problem at a time, but this is really great feedback and something mark should certainly pay attention to. I'd write to the below though, just so he can track this case using Zendesk.