The internet is unusable
The disabled view.

Nicolas Steenhout

Squeaky wheel

A supermarket trolley wheel, appearing rusty.

Why did I chose this?

Books on a shelf in a public library. Story time ahead!

Deaf podcast guest

Hearing disability icon. Podcast icon.

Red means stop

An hexagonal red traffic signal with the word stop.

Nothing about us without us

You can fix that

A pile of old rusty tools. Hammers, screwdrivers, pliers.

Four disability groups

  • Vision.
  • Hearing.
  • Mobility.
  • Cognitive.

Color names

I could read all the products. I could buy them. There was nothing wrong with the way that the page was set up, but the names of things had nothing to do with what color they were, so I had no idea what I was actually buying.

Kirsty Major - Source:

alt text

Photos [...] that’s something I encounter for work all the time. People will post official statements on their Twitter feed and it’s a friggen image and I can’t read it. You’re not supposed to do that. So whether it’s anything from an amusing meme, to actual content that I need to do my job.

Michelle McQuigge - Source:

Sticky elements

...sticky headers, sticky footers, sometimes even a little help icon on the side that stay in place, it all blocks my view because I have to enlarge my type a little bit sometimes when I’m zooming in through the browser, and it all bumps together really fast...

Amy Carney - Source:

Zoom restrictions

websites will, particularly on a mobile view, enforce a maximum zoom level where you do a “viewport min 1 max 1” or something like that where they absolutely lock out the zoom controls, that becomes an issue as well particularly if you’re dealing with fine print on the site or images that you can’t expand. If your site disallows that functionality via, again, meta tags on the viewport, then I’m out of luck.

Ian Littman - Source:


If you depend on captions every day, you’ve become accustomed to what works and what doesn’t work. [...] If we notice the caption, it’s a sign they’re not good quality. Just like editing is part of the publishing process. Please make accessibility part of your entire process.

Meryl K. Evans - Source:

Not our job!

Or even [...] that it’s my job to request [accommodations], that it’s my job to find something and then it’s this wonderful, generous favor that’s been made to allow me to have access to your thing by providing a transcript of it several days later, or several weeks later, however long it takes to do that.

Mel Chua - Source:

Visible labels

a lack of visual labels or mismatch between the visual label and the accessible name of the label [is a problem]. In particular, old versions of Dragon also require that the first word of the actual accessible label be the visual label otherwise, I have no idea how to interact with or click buttons or form fields, or even certain types of links.

Tori Clark - Source:

Popup menus

Popup menus are horrible for eye tracking, most eye tracking users probably can’t use them. You have to keep your mouse in an area from then not to close.

Thane Pullan - Source:

Password fixes

something that’s frustrating is entering a password, I have to do that a lot. We all have to do that a lot, even if we use password managers. And sometimes when I access the site, I don’t know if I have the right password. And when I type in a password on my phone, [...] I might hit the wrong key. And if the password field is hidden, [...], then I don’t know if my password was refused because I entered the wrong password or because I accidentally pressed the wrong key.

Ellen Spertus - Source:


I rely very heavily on [...] copying and pasting out. So let’s say [...] I’ve got postcode, and I want to find out what something is. A lot of people will make those clickable links which open in a specific app. The minute I go to copy, it opens to an app, or it copies all the metadata behind it. And I can’t just paste that into the thing I want to paste it in.

Kevin Mar-Molinero - Source:

Brain fog, chronic pain

It feeds this kind of vicious cycle, because as you’re getting more frustrated, also frustration can amplify pain. So more pain, less fine motor control, more frustration, and rinse repeat.

Julia Ferraioli - Source:

Dark mode

Things like dark mode or websites that have much too much contrast, so a really dark background with a really bright white fine text is really hard for me to read, from a cognitive standpoint and from a physical standpoint ’cause my eye muscles are affected. It leaves ghosting and things like that.

Cherry Thompson - Source:

Sticky elements

I will navigate away immediately if something is very visually busy, whether it’s got its movement or color or design that’s just kind of cramped. It’s just too too much stimuli all at once I get really overwhelmed feeling. And then I, it’s like it. Like I can’t process properly. And then that interferes with task completion for whatever it was I was trying to do when I went there in the first place.

Holly Schroeder - Source:

Noisy pages

Another thing that gets me sometimes is just very noisy interfaces, or things where there’s just walls of, of texts, like any sort of productivity tool or productivity website, that gives me too much information actually gives me a little bit of anxiety to look at. [...] But for me, personally, it’d be great if, [...] there was maybe fewer distractions or less noise on particular tools and pages, if I could toggle all that sort of stuff, it’d be great.

Ben Lesh - Source:

Disability continuum

it’s important to remember that people with disabilities come in a variety of packages they might not expect, and they might go outside the really common narrative of if someone is totally blind, if someone is a wheelchair user or someone is totally deaf. Those experiences are all really important but I think that if we forget that there’s a wide profile of people with a wide variety of barriers that we can miss a lot of things that can help people.

EJ Mason - Source:


Textbooks piled beside an open notebook with handwriting and a pen, and a cup of coffee.

Questions?    Thank you!

Nicolas Steenhout