Video chat/AMA with Bethany Smith on web accessibility (5/22/20)

Web accessibility is a topic that has been on everyone’s minds recently, so this is your opportunity to ask questions and get them answered!

You can also go to my website to download a Web Accessibility Guide and Planner for Food Bloggers. We’ll be talking through that guide on Friday, and then answer any of your questions!

Please post questions now and I’ll answer on Friday!


“The alleged inaccessibility of Domino’s website and app impedes access to the goods and services of its physical pizza franchises” - wow, I’m taken aback by this court statement. I still remember the times when we simply CALLED a phone number to order a pizza… if indeed the web ordering is inaccessible, the phone still works. One could argue that if a business doesn’t have a web presence at all, that makes them inaccessible from the get-go… but I digress.

Recently, Mediavine did the session about the subject of accessibility (here’s a direct link to the video :, and Rachel from mentioned (in the comments) that she’s being sued because of the web accessibility thing :open_mouth: Yikes, this is real!

Here’s my question:
I’ve noticed that some blogs (usually non-food related, often in news space) have an option to play an embedded sound file. They label this option as “listen to this article”. Sometimes it’s a robotic-sounding voice reading an article, other times - it’s a real person reading it, podcast-style.
I wonder if that’s something worth pursuing? Not only because of accessibility, but also due to increasing popularity of voice-search (Siri, Amazon Alexa etc.).

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Thanks for your comments @Kasia.

I think the thing is that if a service is offered, it also needs to be accessible. I can talk more about that when I do the live!

Yes, I’ve watched that Mediavine video, it has some great info. And yes, this has all become a thing for food bloggers right now because Rachel is being sued! It should be a bit of a kick in the pants to all of us!

I actually hadn’t seen that “listen to this article” feature yet but looked it up and it looks awesome! It’s unlikely to be required (at least right now) for accessibility requirements, but it is an easy way to add another feature that users will likely love.

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Just a reminder that this web accessibility chat will happen live tomorrow, Friday May 22 at 9:30am PT/12:30pm ET.

Hi Bethany! Video and audio are great!

Can you talk a bit about how to handle video? I get if we are in front of the camera and talking where we’d need subtitles, but what about hands in pans videos?

Do you think standards will be more well-defined soon for food bloggers?

Can you talk about what food bloggers need to do with video and also blog content to be more compliant?

Alt tags: Do you have recommendations for this? Word count, etc? Or is this more of an SEO thing?

FYI: Another blogger shared for getting captions easily onto videos.

This all feels really overwhelming. :tired_face:

You’re doing awesome!

Can you talk about links? What should we be changing with those, aside from making sure the color contrast is good?

I hate the ugly blue! :slight_smile:

Putting “meeting guidelines” in a contract is a great idea.

UX is everything! :grinning:

Thanks, Bethany, this is super valuable information!!

can you give an alt tag example?

So really, we need to keep visually impaired people in mind when writing alt tags.