The MLB Accessibility Hullabaloo

I have nothing but respect for the folks involved in helping to advocate that MLB.com improve accessibility of the web site. Lainey Feingold has been instrumental in moving accessibility on a number of issues to successful resolution. To learn more about the story here you can read a press release at http://lflegal.com/2010/02/mlb-press/. My comments are not meant to detract from the progress made.

 

Still I find it kind of ironic that when browsing to the MLB audio/video information page I find text telling me what follows is an advertisement and the same old nonsense of missing alt text on the ad itself. My money is as good as anyone else’s so come on advertisers and MLB, market to me too.

 

For the curious, here is how a screen reader presents the experience in question.

 

Below is an advertisement.

168544/r15_cm_b12_728x90

 

The string of gibberish is presented by the screen reader because the item is a link. Screen readers present some form of the underlying URL when links without text or proper alternative text for images are included in a web page. The screen reading user still needs to be able to take action on the link in question. The screen reader has no way to know whether the link is important or not.

 

2 thoughts on “The MLB Accessibility Hullabaloo”

  1. The advertising is unfortunately not controlled by MLB or the people who design their web sites. They know that the issue exists and would like to correct it. Not apologizing for them. They should include accessibility requirements in their contracts with the advertising firm.

  2. While it is true that these links are poorly tagged, we can and will put pressure on MLB to in return put pressure on their advertisers to provide alt tags to their adds. Any such suggestions should be presented directly to MLB through the access links on mlb.com. I am sure that they will react favorably.

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