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I recently visited some websites that seems to be using either deprecated technology (e.g. Flash) or contain a lot of complex front end javascript code to create the interaction of the user interface.

Some of these websites provide a link or button that takes you to a accessibility mode page which strips all the unnecessary features and provide just the content that is optimised for screen readers and provide other accessible features (e.g. keyboard navigation).

With accessibility being such a big focus today, and inclusive design slowly being incorporated into many of the standard design systems, is it still seen as an acceptable practice to provide a separate page to meet accessibility guidelines (i.e. WCAG 2.0)? Are there other reasons why this might be a better strategy/option in the current design and development culture?

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    Keyboard navigation is feature that can be used by everyone. User should be able to use the page even if his mouse is broken or he/she has disabled touchpad on notebook because he accidentally touches it while typing. – jiwopene Dec 1 '19 at 14:04
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A separate page is perfectly valid in terms of a way of achieving accessibility goals in WCAG 2.1 (the latest version).

https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/#dfn-conforming-alternate-version

There are very few (so few I can't think of one) good reasons to offer an alternative version however.

Maintenance is a nightmare as you now have two pages to maintain, making the pages contain then same information and experience is very difficult without basically duplicating the page etc.

I think it is more of a legacy solution as screen readers have come a long way, but some websites are 20 years old so this gives them a viable option to reach accessibility targets.

I am sure there is a valid reason out there somewhere to do this on a new website, however it should be a last resort.

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    I think it's a reasonable solution when there is no possible way to modify the primary page in a way that works without vision. A classic example is a map. You can provide a substitute page which will provide similar information or support the main use cases, but it won't actually contain a map. – Steve Bennett Dec 2 '19 at 1:29
  • @SteveBennett yes but at that point it is simple enough to include that information on the main page under a 'directions' button or similar. The point is it is easier to change a page design to incorporate transcripts, text alternatives etc. than to maintain a separate page (but +1 for finding a good use case as I was really struggling!) – Graham Ritchie Dec 2 '19 at 8:25

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