Our web terminal is now screen reader accessible

Hey folks. If you’ve been around for a while then you may recognize me from a series of accessibility-related blog posts I wrote here a while back. I’m deliberately not linking them because the series is incomplete and I’ve probably lost my outline by now–sorry!

As a blind screen reader user, accessibility is critical to me. Without it, I literally couldn’t do my job. I do what I can to make Fly more accessible to you or your collaborators, and I wanted to take a moment and share something that just went live.

fly.io/terminal is now accessible to screen readers.

On its own, Fly is already pretty screen-reader-friendly by virtue of flyctl being a first-class citizen. But the web terminal was another matter entirely. Thankfully you can get far without it, or may never need it if you’re lucky. But sometimes you need to get stuff done and only have a browser, and web-based terminals are usually a11y hot garbage. Not ours, though!

It’s not perfect, and we’re limited by what our terminal emulation library can do. But since it’s also used in VS Code, it should continue improving over time.

If you’re a screen reader user, check it out. If you’re not a screen reader user, also check it out and make sure we haven’t broken anything. There might be a slight speed hit or other small inconsistencies, but if so, hopefully they’re negligible enough to make the accessibility wins worth it. And, if not, let us know and I’ll fix it!



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