moderated Use of Headings, or Rather Lack Thereof, in Groups.IO Discussion Lists

David Kingsbury

Hi all,


I have come to really value the various Groups.IO lists related to accessibility, including this one. However, one thing that has always irked me is how clunky and inefficient navigation is on the web pages where you access discussion strings on individual topics. Other than a single level 4 heading just above the initial question, there is no use of headings for replies. Appropriate use of headings here would significantly enable more efficient navigation by screen reader users.


Previously, I had a few workarounds on web pages for reading through discussions. If using Edge, I could put it in immersive reader view and that helped. But with the newest version of Windows 10, immersive reader seems to have disappeared for some pages and remained for others. I even figured out that I could search for the number sign with Control F and then F3 to get to the top of each response because each one used to start with a message number, but no longer. So now, I am stuck endlessly down arrowing through the discussions. This is a very inefficient way to navigate web pages.


I emailed the Groups. IO tech support people with this concern several months ago and they never responded. Because I had figured out some personal workarounds, and this is a free service, so I suppose you get what you pay for, I never made a second attempt to contact them. But my workarounds no longer work, and navigation is very tedious.


I am sure that those who run Groups.IO are people of goodwill. I imagine too that they are unaware that well-placed insertion of headings greatly facilitates navigation by screen reader users.


So, a couple of questions. Should list administrators contact the Groups.IO developers with this concern to ask that they make better use of headings on the web pages? Or if others on this list agree that better use of headings would greatly improve our ability to use Groups.IO more efficiently, is there a way we can advocate as a group, versus sending the occasional solitary email complaint that ultimately goes unanswered?


Ideally, on the web pages, each original question and the responses would be tagged with a heading. On the daily digest, “New topics” and “new replies” would both have headings. However, adding headings to the web pages is the biggest priority.


I want to emphasize that I wouldn’t expend time on this if I didn’t value the service. It is an excellent resource. But that doesn’t mean there is no room for improvement.


Thanks to all who support asking that they do something about this. Also, sorry in advance for any inconvenience to you because I am sending this message to several lists, so you may see some repetition.




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