By Kimberly Patch
It looks like Google is stepping up its accessibility effort and resources.
- Google accessibility page:
- Google Accessibility Twitter account:
@gooogleaccess Google Accessibility
- Accessibility Google Group
Here’s a tweet about accessibility in Google+:
“We considered accessibility of Google+ from day 1. Find something we missed? Press Send Feedback link & let us know.”
I do think there’s a lot missing.
For starters, Google+ is quite short on keyboard shortcuts (the Google Manager addon addresses this in part). It’s also short on basic keyboard navigation — in a perfect world, the down/up arrows and enter key should allow you to navigate anything that looks like a list or a menu.
Asking for feedback like this is a very good sign, however. One thing I’ve use the Send Feedback link to point out is once you get past a dozen circles or so it’s important to have a list view unless you’re willing and able do a lot of unnecessary scrolling.
Here’s a recent Google blog post about accessibility in Docs, Sites, and Calendar that talks about additional keyboard shortcuts:
Some Google applications are gaining more keyboard shortcuts. You still can’t use down/up arrows on everything that looks like a list or a menu, however.
The bottom line is there are some channels open and some good intentions. This is great. Now let’s hold them to it, and keep the keyboard shortcuts coming.
My #1 request as a speech user is the ability to adjust, organize and share keyboard shortcuts across apps. An adjust-your-shortcuts facility that works across apps would not only be good for many different types of users, it would address a special problem of speech users and the type of keyboard shortcuts that web apps tend to use. More on that issue next.