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Can I track screen reader usage with Siteimprove?

By Guðrún Unnur Gústafsdóttir

Siteimprove cannot track screen reader usage of visitors using assistive technologies on your site. Currently, there are no reliable means of determining whether a user with disabilities is visiting your site. This is because information is not available as the standard information that is used in tracking users, such as user-agent strings.

Screen readers and other assistive technology devices do not act as browsers, text editors, spread sheet applications, or any other piece of software built for a specific purpose. They rather are pieces of software that run alongside any other software that you have running on your system. Therefore, assistive technologies do not make network connections, parse HTML, execute JavaScript or any other means to access web content.

Instead, web browsers present a structured "accessibility tree" to the disabled users' operating system, which is then read by assistive technologies such as screen readers. This means that a website's tracking code can never detect what devices are used to interpret an operating system's accessibility tree, because this happens as a "post-processing" step, after the browser has downloaded the content from the Internet.

 

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