Accessibility problems with Medium.


 

Hi Chris, I'm contacting you because I've read that you are the IT contact for the Medium site. If you are not the right person I should be emailing, let me know who the correct person is.

I'm a totally blind user who is also making some money through the Medium partner program. As it stands, there are a lot of easily fixable accessibility issues that are preventing me from publishing on the site fully. I've been consistently bringing desktop accessibility issues to your attention but have heard no progress or updates about it after one accessibility improvement made to the IOS application some months ago. I’d like to point out the various issues I have on the desktop. If you fix these, your site will be far more accessible for everyone.

  1. Forms are not labeled. This happens all across the site. Edit fields are not labeled and don't have their title attribute associated with the field name. This is a consistent problem, especially when trying to create a publication. Because of this, your electronic W9 form is completely inaccessible. I had to get sighted assistance to fill it out, per your requirements to keep earning money through the program.
  2. Keyboard focus isn't consistent. For a screen reader user, editing and writing stories is extremely challenging because keyboard focus and keyboard controls aren't always persistent. Many controls on your site can't be accessed via the keyboard, such as the genre selection when creating a publication. There's too many to list, but very few buttons and controls can be accessed via the keyboard.
  3. Dialog boxes are not accessible to screen readers. Focus isn't drawn to the dialog boxes and leaves screen readers stuck, unable to even opt into the medium partner program when editing a story. This happens all across the site.
  4. The main editor isn't keyboard accessible. To a screen reader user, the compose a story window has two multiline edit fields that are not labeled. The second edit field, however, is a dud, and does not even show up visually on the site, so a screen reader user could be typing in a phantom edit field and publish a blank story.
  5. No alt text option. Give writers the option to add alt text to their images. At the moment, this function doesn't exist on your site.

I look forward to hearing how and when you will address these accessibility issues that have been persistent for more than a year. I’d be more than happy to do a zoom session with you so we can talk about these in more depth and give you a live demonstration.

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