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[RESOLVED] Site accessibility for blinds

9 (talkcontribs)

Dear Wiktionary team, I am a blind, and therefore a screen reader software user. I am also a student of Foreign Languages. I have successfully used Wictionary until few months ago. Today, when I came back to the site, because I started preparing for the beginning of University in two weeks, I discovered that I can no longer access the contents I used to. More specifically, when I enter an English word, I cannot read its translation in other languages. And when I enter a Polish word, I can no longer see the declentions of that word. When I realized it, I just felt like crying. Being blind, I cannot use paper printed dictionaries. Digital solutions are the answer for blinds need of autonomy. And when I see that improvements on the website just completely disregard the accessibility issue, it is just so sad. Anyway, I assume that it happened simply because the tecnicians who care for the website are not aware of the disabled needs. So that's why I am writing, to ask that please, please, please, you consider removing whatever aditions you made to Wiktionary that made it impossible to use by screen reader software users. In case you want or need to contact me, for further clarifications or comments, please do it to the e-mail address catia.b.lima(put-the-at-sign-here) I am afraid I won't be able to retrieve this discussion anymore, due to the complexity of the pages, so I will most likely not read whatever you tell me here. Once more, please, University is starting in two weeks and I needed to study before that. Thank you for your time and your commitment to help me and other blinds. Kidest regards, Catia (talkcontribs)

Hi Catia,

this page shows your thread in a less complex way.

Catia says that after changes in Wictionary her screenreader can no longer read certain parts of the website (and maybe also not in other wikis). This bug/regression should definitely be fixed again - also because it worked correctly before. For blind users, this is a major usability problem; the affected information is lost - that way for them the page is unusable.

There are two problems:

Does anyone know, why?

MarkAHershberger (talkcontribs)

I've asked an administrator (User:Mutante) on Wiktionary to step in and look at this problem.

Mutante (talkcontribs)

I've turned it into a Bugzilla bug to get additional input since i also don't know the root cause of this change yet.

AKlapper (WMF) (talkcontribs)

I'd love to understand better how to reproduce the problems that you are unfortunately facing, to turn them into a bug report that developers could work on.

You wrote "when I enter an English word, I cannot read its translation in other languages". I went to with my screenreader switched on. It has sections for English, Dutch and Latin, and it also has a subsection called "Translations" under "English". There is a "general agreement" box that is meant to be expanded via a "[show▼] and [hide▲]" toggle button, is that what is creating the problems?

You also wrote "And when I enter a Polish word, I can no longer see the declentions of that word." Does that refer to the Polish Wiktionary site, or is that still on the English Wiktionary site for entries for Polish words? When I go to I see that "declension of Polska" also has such a toggle button.

In case I've understood correctly, this has to do with the NavFrame/NavHead/NavToggle/NavContent code in the HTML file.

Also, could you share which screenreader and which browser you use? (talkcontribs)

Dear Andre,

first of all, let me express my joy, and gratitude, for the fact that my issue has not met indifference, and that people are taking time and putting their efforts into solving it.

Now, trying to reply to your questions as thoroughly as possible. I also went to When I first started using, the translation of the English word "consensus" into other languages used to show normally, like any other piece of text on the page. A few weeks ago, I noticed the new addition of the show/hide button that you are mentioning. And the disappointing discovery on Sunday, when I started the tread about my difficulties, is that such button is no longer read by my screen reader. So, that part of the page for me shows like this:

edit (with the information that it is a link)

General agreement

External links

And ignores anything that comes after "translations" and before "external links".

The interesting thing, that I have just discovered when I tried to copy that part of the page to paste it on this e-mail, is that it pasted, and turned readable, the translations of the word "consensus". So, by pasting it into a mail, I can now tell you that "consensus" in German is "konsens" or "einvernehmen", that in Polish it is "konsensus" and so on.

You have also asked: "You also wrote "And when I enter a Polish word, I can no longer see the declentions of that word." Does that refer to the Polish Wiktionary site, or is that still on the English Wiktionary site for entries for Polish words?". I only use the English Wiktionary, so my answer is that it refers to entries for Polish words on the English Wiktionary site.

And lastly, the screen reader I use is JAWS For Windows, version 9.0, and my browser is Internet Explorer 8.0.6001.18702. Yes, I know that both programs are very much out of date. I am in the process of buying a new computer and a new version of JAWS, which will allow me to use the newer versions of all other softwares, IE included.

One last thing that I really want to stress, though, is that, despite my old software, until few weeks ago I was using the site without a single problem, even when the show/hide toggle button has already been implemented.

Please, let me know if I can provide you with more or more accurate information. And once again, thank you for your commitment in helping out.

Have a lovely day, and take care,


AKlapper (WMF) (talkcontribs) (talkcontribs)

Seems to be fixed now:

I have been trying everyday, since I first posted my problem last Sunday, and 
today, for the first time, it is working!
Mutante (talkcontribs)

Great to see this has been fixed and how everybody stepped in to track it down :) Catia, i hope this still works fine now and you got to use it in time before uniersity started. Thanks all, Andre for providing the Grease_pit link, Nemo for being the missing link, Keφr for the actual fix etc. Interesting where these this went..

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