Blind for a week! A web developer's experience
So webdev David Ball wanted to really experience needing to use a screen reader for all his regular web surfing needs. Some things he discovered:
1. His screen reader wasn't of course limited to the browser.
2. It was hard.
3. Browsers are different (I dunno which screen reader he used, but screen readers tend to work better in certain browsers as well. For example JAWS works better in IE while NVDA is best (so far) in Firefox. We won't mention VO cause that's unfair)
4. Raise the speed to chipmunk if you want to actually get through a page before you turn 60 (writing for mobile, in the Jakob Nielsen sense, would be good here too)
5. Some populare websites... (ZOMG you guessed it) really suck and are poorly written. Versions written for mobile are... almost usable!
6. Link titles are a waste of bytes. yes older versions of turdpress and current versions of joomla and *EVERY* SEO "specialist" under those rocks, we are talking about YOU
7. Autofocus sucks. (Why it should have been written so: let users choose to add autofocus, not authors... hint hint browser vendors, cause we can't just turn JS off anymore thank you)
8. Surprise (not): you can be technically valid in HTML, doesn't mean you're semantic or correct. A steaming pile of divs and <span role="button"> is just as smelly by any other name
9. Heading-navigation rules!
10. We should be thankful every day that a rampaging army of blinks (Gonz' word, but I like it) don't hunt us webdevs down and eat our livers. We should be able to tell a blind web user by their lack of hair, since they pulled it out all long ago trying to navigate our steaming piles of HTML5/DHTML/AJAX/ZOMGWEARESOAWESOME code.