[Athen] google custom search - checking my recommendation reasoning

Mary Heid mheid at unr.edu
Tue Dec 5 16:14:01 PST 2017

One of our divisions has outsourced the development of a website. Our Policy requires WCAG 2.0 AA conformance. The site has incorporated the free Google Custom Search.

I'm told that the free Google Custom Search<https://developers.google.com/custom-search/docs/element> code doesn't meet WCAG 2.0 Levels A and AA, that it's a known issue, and if we incorporate the free Google Custom Search into our website, that we can't edit that code to fix any accessibility problems; it's a take it or leave it code.

When I run a site that has the google search code on it<http://dev.unrpurchasing.proworks.io/>, through a couple of tools I find the following:

* WAVE points out the layout table used in the search area as a point of consideration.

* SiteImprove calls out the fact that styling is in the HTML rather than CSS (Presentational Attributes Used, 1.3.1 Info and Relationships).

* Nu Html Checker has some errors and warnings, but none that relate to the HTML usability/accessibility of the search feature.

I practice, I can navigate and search with the keyboard-only and I can navigate and search using the JAWS screen reading program and Internet Explorer. In the website above example, I'm more concerned about the uncommon way the menus are announced by JAWS.

In the grand scheme of things, my inclination is that while the Google Custom Search may have at least one WCAG deficiency (1.3.1), it's operable, doesn't seem to present any barriers, and is probably fairly common for users to encounter on the internet, so I wouldn't necessarily spend a ton of resources insisting a third party vendor implement a different search tool in this instance. Am I missing something?


Mary Heid, CPACC
Enrollment Services
System Administrator and Coordinator of Assistive Technology
University of Nevada, Reno
(775) 682-8038

[CPACC Logo]<http://www.accessibilityassociation.org/cpacccertification>

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