When will Google Chrome be accessible?

Refer to Google Chrome accessibility update

I have written on the issue of Google Chrome accessibility a number of times since its initial release. Progress is being made, but that progress is too slow for some users of Assistive Technology. As a consequence a petition has been created by Alex Hiironen to highlight the issue that users of Assitive Technology such as screen readers are still unable to enjoy the advances in browser speed and functionality provided by Google Chrome.

The Google Chrome Screen Reader Accessibility Petition

To: Google, Inc.

We, as screen reader users, feel that Google’s new and innovative Web browser, Google Chrome, still has a long way to go in accessibility. We are just asking for the developers of this flourishing browser to consider the needs of a growing audience who is interested in using this browser. We should have the choice to use this browser, and should not be shut out because of conditions we cannot control.

Web page text is not readable, and nothing is spoken with various screen access programs such as JAWS, Window-eyes, NVDA, and others. Also, the menus need help in order to be accessible to most windows screen readers.

On Linux, the situation is worse. Orca, the GNOME based screen reader, cannot even access this application due to the way the interface is written.

In 2010, having inaccessible applications is simply appalling and a Web browser coming from a great company such as google should not be subjected to that horrible label of ‘inaccessible’. Inaccessible programs translates to blind and visually impaired individuals being shut out from using this application. That is not acceptable.


The Undersigned

Sign the petition

If you feel that Google has not made the accessibility of Google Chrome a priority, have your say – Sign the petition. Maybe they will listen.

Further Reading

Categories: Development

About Steve Faulkner

Steve is the Chief Accessibility Officer at TPGi. He joined TPGi in 2006 and was previously a Senior Web Accessibility Consultant at vision australia. Steve is a member of several groups, including the W3C Web Platforms Working Group and the W3C ARIA Working Group. He is an editor of several specifications at the W3C including ARIA in HTML and HTML Accessibility API Mappings 1.0. He also develops and maintains HTML5accessibility and the JAWS bug tracker/standards support.


Paul Irish says:

There are some technical details on Chrome’s plans and challenges when it comes to accessibility in the comment thread here:

Hi paul,
I also provided a link to the chrome accessibility documentation and road map in the article. (first link under further reading).