An Open Letter to Cloudflare
We never relish using public forums to call out companies guilty of leaving customers behind. In this case, our attempts at communication have gone unanswered. It’s not lack of awareness on their part; we alerted them eighteen months ago the service they were designing would not be accessible. The CEO reaffirmed his company’s mission, but as of today, the service they released is as inaccessible as we predicted.
Having exhausted other alternatives, I published an open letter to Cloudflare. Below is an excerpt of that letter for your awareness. If anyone cares to follow or contribute to a discussion thread on the subject, you can participate here.
Cloudflare’s inaccessible browser contradicts the company’s mission
An open letter to Matthew Prince, CEO, Cloudflare
by Matt Campbell
July 30, 2021
About four months ago, Cloudflare launched Browser Isolation during Security Week, without ensuring that the product is accessible to blind people using screen readers. Now, four months later, this problem is still not solved. Cloudflare’s neglect of accessibility in this product raises a new barrier to employment for blind people as companies adopt this product to improve the security of their networks.
As I’m sure you recall, I first contacted you about this problem a year and a half ago, when Cloudflare first pre-announced the development of Browser Isolation, because I knew based on the technical description in that blog post that this product would be completely inaccessible with a screen reader unless the team specifically took steps to make it accessible. I even offered deep technical advice on how to make this product fully accessible, based on my expertise in accessibility and many years of experience as a developer of assistive technology. You were quick to respond back then, assuring me that the team was taking accessibility into account. In particular, you wrote the following, referring to your company’s mission: “Agree with you that it’s critical we not take a step backward as we’re working toward building a better Internet.”
Now, as your Impact Week draws to a close, I’m writing to remind you of what you told me last year. Throughout this week, Cloudflare has promoted many activities that contribute to its mission. There was even a blog post about Flarability, the employee resource group for disabled Cloudflare employees. But despite all of that, Cloudflare’s neglect of accessibility in the Browser Isolation product stands as a contradiction of the company’s mission....
Read Matt's entire letter in our blog post at Pneuma Solutions website.
Matt Campbell, Chief Technology Officer and Cofounder
The Global Leader in Accessible Cloud-Based Technologies