The Facebook Gift Shop is a page where you can purchase little profile widgets for $1 a piece and send them to your friends. It has become apparently quite popular among Facebook users.
According to a recent Facebook blog post, they’ve recently received lots of user complaints that the Gift Shop isn’t accessible to blind users. The Facebook team inturn decided to launch a screen reader accessible version of the site.
From the blog post, it seems that Facebook has the delusion that visual disabilities, particularly blindness, is the only thing they need to pay attention to. We know this isn’t the case. If you make you Web site accessible, users with different disabilities will be able to access the Web page.
Facebook’s first reaction to an inaccessible page isn’t to make the primarily used page accessible. They make an alternative version of the page. Who wants to have to use an alternative version of the page? Didn’t we learn a long time ago that “separate but equal” is a fallacy?
Also… What does it say that Facebook users have to bring to their attention the fact that their page is inaccessible? Is accessibility checking not part of the development qa process?
So is accessibility a priority of Facebook or not?
If it is, Facebook should post a Web Accessibility commitment statement so we know what to expect.