Pantheon Community

Where have you struggled with website accessibility?

Docs Team at Pantheon is working hard to improve the accessibility of our technical documentation. We’ve recently added “skip to content” links, implemented automated a11y testing and reporting, and are planning other improvements aimed at removing barriers.

We’d like to share what we’re learning along the way, and be helpful in ways that have the biggest impact for your own work.

For those of you responsible for website accessibility, what have been the biggest challenges to improving the accessibility of your sites? What do you wish you knew more about?

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I work in public higher education, where accessibility has been a primary concern ever since the beginning of the web because of federal compliance requirements.

The biggest challenge we encounter these days with accessibility is that many site owners want to embed content for enhanced functionality, such as maps, video, chatbots, and commenting. Unfortunately, the providers of that external content, which is usually being pulled in either via <iframe> or <script> tags, are often ignoring simple things that they could do to ensure that their content meets the same accessibility standards as the sites they are embedded into.

Here are three simple examples we run into on a regular basis with different external content providers, all of which trigger violations in many of the common accessibility scanning tools:

  1. Many <iframe> providers don’t bother to set a title attribute on their iframes
  2. Google Maps doesn’t even bother to set an empty <alt> tag on their map tile images
  3. Many <iframe> providers still disable zooming and scrolling in the <meta name="viewport"> element
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Thank you for sharing, Paul.

Embedded content is a constant source of frustration to be sure. Things like iframes are handy, but take a way a lot of a website developer’s control (and accessibility QA).

DocsTeam took your note to heart and reviewed our own handling of embedded YouTube videos, which we use to support the information in our user guides. Our fabulous Senior Technical Content Editor @alex used the info to create a GatsbyJS component for these, that now passes a title variable and adds it to the tag (example from our Drush Video doc ).

Thank you for pointing this out!

Regarding using other orgs’ iframe content, that continues to be a challenge. Sometimes we have to rely on filing issues for suggested changes, and hope those changes happen in a timely way (or get +1 by enough others to move up the priority ladder). It’d be great if there was an easier way to address that.

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