image for blog article entitled When Screen Readers go wrong

When Screen Readers Go Wrong

Back in September 2019 we had to ensure that our web estate complied with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Making our website accessible and compliant with these regulations has taken a lot of time and effort, ensuring that all residents have equal access to our services.

One major aspect of ensuring our website is accessible is it’s compatibility with screen readers. We have ensured that our pages are formatted correctly (using heading styles to segment content), ARIA labels have been added to buttons and all of our hyperlinks now make sense out of context (so no more ‘read more’ or ‘click here’ links.

This provides a more seamless user journey for anyone using a screen reader.

The same applies to pdf documents and their formatting. If no heading styles or links are within a document, a screen reader will go through every single word on a document. Imagine having to listen to all 389 pages of our Local Plan to 2030 when you only wanted to find out information from a chapter towards the end of the document?

If you’ve ever wondered how a screen reader works then check out some examples below of when they can be led astray by poor formatting.