accessibility and internationalisation are related

Yesterday was my birthday and as well as a bottle of my current favourite tipple, the sublime Duncan TaylorsAult Reekie I was lucky enough to get some vouchers for Cheese!!! from local cheese shop Paxton and Whitfield.
Fantastic, as soon as we’ve polished off the Cheeses we picked up at The Cheese Shop, 11 Butchers row in Barnstaple I’ll be round there to restock.

however when I visited the Paxton and Whitfield Website I hit a problem. namely the lang=de tag which appears through out their site. All the text on the site is in English but because of that line my screenreader (Jaws as it happens) believes it to be in German and consequently switches to its german accent making it impossible to read the pages.

the good news for Cheese a-holic Jaws users is that you can get round the problem by telling Jaws to ignore languages specified in Websites but this is one more example of the unintended consequences of sloppy coding.

who’d of thought that internationalisation was as much of an accessibility issue as alt tags, meaningful link text etc.

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