Each March, college basketball fans are consumed by March Madness and filling out countless NCAA brackets. With my favorite Wisconsin Badgers having a number 1 seed in this year’s tournament, you can bet I want to get my bracket in.
I’m as much of a fan of accessibility as I am sports, so this time is always an interesting checkpoint to see how far accessibility has come or not when it comes to something as basic as completing one of these brackets. Each year I browse around to the various online offerings to join a bracket challenge and each year I’m largely disappointed. Rarely have any of the mainstream sports sites done anything to make either the basic bracket one can download as a PDF file or their contests where you create brackets accessible.
Back in 2012, I wrote about Yahoo’s iOS offering in this space. In three years from my first browse of the latest offering here, it seems we’ve made no progress in this app and have even gone in reverse as there are even more nameless buttons than when I wrote about the app three years ago. I first wrote about searching for an accessible bracket back in 2007.
The one mainstay of accessibility here has come from Terrill Thompson and his work on an accessible NCAA bracket. He’s been doing this for several years now and for me it is one of those items in web accessibility that I personally appreciate immensely. So a big thanks to Terrill for the continued work on this each year.
It would be nice if some year the main players in this space from the sports world actually addressed accessibility of their bracket experiences also. But I’m sure glad Terrill does what he does here and when his contest is open this year you can bet I’ll be submitting my bracket and looking for the Badgers to have a great tournament. So sports and accessibility fans, come join me and thank Terrill and join his contest when it is available and let’s have some March Madness fun.