Accessible Interface to YouTube

A recent message on the WebAIM mailing list talked about a more accessible interface for YouTube. This was created by a student investigating the impact of web 2.0 apps on people who are blind.


This isn’t necessarily a finished product but does seem to work well. It is particularly nice if you are using a screen reader and browser that support ARIA live updating. This is a technology that allows web page changes to be announced automatically to the screen reading user.


The accessible interface to YouTube can be accessed at As an example in this version, ARIA live updates are used to announce video states such as buffering, playing and paused.


This is a research project so the developer is looking for feedback. Consider dropping by the page and completing a short questionnaire.


Indian Wedding Barat Music

A few years ago Aimee and I travelled to India for the wedding of one of my coworkers. We had the privilege of taking part in one of the wedding traditions known as a Barat.


Dictionaries will tell you that a barat is a procession lead by the groom with his relatives and friends to the place of the wedding ceremony. It involves musicians, dancing and general celebration as the wedding party makes their way through the streets.


What I will tell you is that listening to this recording of some of the procession even today reminds me what a delightful experience we had at the wedding and taking part in the barat. Enjoy nine minutes of what was more than an hour long experience. The musicians mingled with the people in an ever-changing flowing arrangement of people. One minute you were near the front of the group, the next the back. One second a drum is beating just inches from your head, the next a horn. I’ve long wondered what it was like to be part of a marching band. Now I know.

An Accessibility Thanks to Goodreads

I use a social networking site for book enthusiasts known as Goodreads. The basic concept behind the site is that you share what you are reading with friends and they share with you and you all get to discover more good reads.


Maybe 18 months ago I mentioned an issue around missing alt text on book titles on the site. Goodreads fixed the issue in about a day. Recently a change broke the issue and the site developers fixed things in a day. It is nice to see web developers take accessibility seriously and be so responsive when issues do come up.


If you enjoy books, give Goodreads a try. I’ve found it quite handy to keep track of what I’ve read and have discovered several new authors and books to read.