Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

Accessibility upgrade

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

My website got a long overdue accessibility upgrade over the weekend: my 600+ pull quotes are now hidden from screen readers and text-only web browsers. Confusing text duplication is no more.

Pull quotes are a powerful traditional design element, best known from magazine layouts, but a little awkward to use effectively on webpages. I like pull quotes, and I have always been determined to have them on my site. Unfortunately, for over a decade I did them the most obvious way: I just duplicated the quoted text and styled it differently. This looks good for most site visitors, but for anyone who can’t see the styling — especially visually impaired visitors using tech to read the page aloud — the effect is just jarring. These stray duplicate phrases litter the document. Not good.

For many years I’ve wanted to fix this, a good decade, but I always knew it would take me 3-6 hours, and that’s a tall order for something that doesn’t have to be fixed. But I finally got to it!

And there are undoubtedly at least a half dozen more accessibility upgrades I could and should implement …