List Pages Accessibility Updates

[UPDATE]: Thanks for helping us test this update to the list pages. We’ve completed the test and closed the test site.

One of the things we love about the internet is the way it can give us access to things we would never be able to see or experience without it.  Find a Grave is a perfect example.  Through the help of other members of the Find a Grave community, we can see and read the gravestones of people who live in places all over the world from the comfort of our own homes.

For people with a variety of disabilities, the internet can help them learn and experience things they couldn’t otherwise experience.  Internet “accessibility” is the idea that people can access and use webpages despite challenges they may have with vision, hearing, mobility, etc.  

We’ve been working on a variety of updates to the site to help make it more accessible for all site users and you may have noticed some of those–changes in colors, different outlines for selected fields, different labeling of fields and more.  Many of the changes you won’t have noticed unless you use a screen reader or other tools designed to make websites more accessible.  

Screen readers and other accessibility tools struggle to make sense of “infinite scroll” lists, lists that automatically load more items as you scroll, like those on Find a Grave.  To help with this, we’ve been working on some updates to our list pages that will make them much easier for screen readers to make sense of and will change those pages for everyone.  We’d love to get your feedback on these updates before we roll them out.

We’ve set up a test site where you can play with the new list pages.  Please take a few minutes to try a search, scroll down to load more results, go to a result and then come back to the list and just use it however you would use the search list, then let us know what you think in the comments on this page.  These changes will affect all the list pages on the site.  Here are a few examples you might consider:

  • a memorial search result
  • a list of memorials in a cemetery 
  • a cemetery search result
  • a list of memorials managed by another member

A few notes about the test site:

  • The test site will only be open for a couple of days.  
  • The test site doesn’t have all the same memorials as the main site.
  • Account and sign in options won’t work normally on the test site, so don’t worry about signing in, just test as a signed out visitor.

Thanks again for your help as part of our beta test group.  We appreciate your time and feedback.


  1. I was looking at the photo requests for Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, California. Some comments:

    — When I click to show the “load more” (so I now have 2 pages of requests), then select “Show problem requests”, the list reverts to just the first page.
    –While fiddling with the request pages, a dialog came up to allow/block my location. I chose “Allow”. I then chose the “Request I Claimed) tab, which gave an error for “not signed” in. I then chose the “Open Requests” tab again, expecting the list to return to the Cypress Lawn list I had been working with. But it returned the request list for a different closer cemetery (Santa Clara Mission Cemetery), not the one I had been working with (Cypress Lawn).

    The reason I had chosen Cypress Lawn was because it has 1,000+ open requests. The test database is much smaller, so I hope it handles really long lists well also.
    I do wish there was a “Show All” functionality for these long lists. I guess I am expected to download the lists and fiddle with them in Excel or something.

    • Thanks for this feedback. Some of these errors and the one you mentioned in your other comment are probably due to the test environment. As we mentioned, signing in in the test environment may not work correctly, and those tabs on the photo requests list include a sign in requirement that may not be working correctly on the test site.

  2. While I like that the ads are no longer a part of the scrolling, I would prefer a new option besides the two which are offered (condensed and not condensed) that would eliminate the page number breaks and left justify all information. The list would be a bit longer, but the screen capture software can make a mess of the text when right justified text is included.
    I did not care for needing to keep hitting the “More results” button. If you leave in the need for the “More results” button, could you add a second button to “Show all results now”?

    I prefer that when I am screen scraping,
    1) all of the data appear without the need to scroll down or keep hitting the “More results” button,
    2) with no page number dividers,
    3) all text left justified, and
    4) with no photos, flowers, sponsored icons and other one-off items.

    Like they said in Dragnet, “Just the facts, ma’am.”

    That’s just me.

    Jim McKinney

  3. There are no ID numbers displayed in the search results. Those are actually very helpful when linking memorials. It is needlessly cumbersome to have to open the page to retrieve. it.

    • Thanks for your feedback. ID numbers (even on the current list pages) only show for logged in users, so this is a problem with the test site. On the main site, the numbers will be there when you are signed in.

  4. Back in the Olden Days at the turn of the century, many such lists gave the user the option to select the number of items displayed per page and Find a Grave should easily have a 100 memorials or even a 250 memorials option. There seems to be very limited value in the small spatial differences between the Thumbnail and “Condensed” list options and a much tighter format would be useful for experienced users working through large numbers of memorials.
    On a somewhat related note you have baked-in a significant problem with your current surname field data entry guidance. By encouraging people to place all surnames used in life other than maiden name in the Surname field, the first name listed ends up being different than the name shown on the gravestone so a person standing in the cemetery, rolling through a list (of the cemetery or say a virtual cemetery etc.) will not find the memorial where they expect, because it will sort in the wrong order (alphabetical by first characters in the field).
    Additionally, male adoptees don’t have maiden names, by typical understanding, but they do have former names. I think you should change the “Maiden name” field to “Former surname(s)” and state that the surname field should be used for the name appearing on the gravestone, with special guidance so people understand that a surname is derived from a logical read of any family name header on the stone (i.e. a stone that reads “Johnson | Herbert 1817-1870 | his wife | Mary Reade 1820-1860” should be interpreted as Mary’s surname at death was Johnson and that goes in the surname field and Reade goes in the Former names field).
    For such issues your team would do well to pay attention to the practices and techniques of the Olden Times in publishing and indexing. Former names of multiply married women did always get stacked and displayed in indexes and alphabetized lists like so: Last Name at Death, First Name Middle Name Maiden Name First Married Surname Second Married Surname etc (YYYY-YYYY)

  5. — list of memorials in a cemetery —
    I don’t like the new page. It doesn’t show the middle name. It doesn'[t have a dot for my memorials. It doesn’t show the memorial number.

    It would be good to put the result in full page mode instead of 3/4 page on the left. This way the font size can be larger. Maybe have a preferences page and allow the user to check if he wants larger font or not. This feature would help the vision impaired.

    — Cemetery search—
    The images are not working. Like the larger font.

    I would love to have a button that allows me to download of all field of a given cemetery to a CSV file onto my harddrive.. This would greatly help getting the information compared to sexton’s burial info that we have transcribed to XLSX file.



    • Thanks for your comments and suggestions.

      The dots for the memorial won’t show on the test site since accounts are a little different there, so the site doesn’t see you as the manager of those memorials.

      Middle names should be showing though. If you can send an example of a missing middle name to, we’ll look into it.

  6. Well, I like it! Seems to be working well for me, considering it’s a beta format and we aren’t logged in. As a former special ed teacher, I’m grateful you are considering this. I always try to retype stories in the bio that people have posted as a photo (like a photo of an obituary), as often software for those with a visual impairment won’t read words on a photo. I’ve been retired a few years, so maybe that is “do-able” now. But i’m grateful that you are considering making things easier.

  7. I tried the “Memorial Search Result” first with a list I was familiar with. I noticed that it appears to be a list before edits were made quite a while back. One has the baby in the wrong cemetery, grave plots are missing or changed and sponsored are missing. The list does not match up with what is presently on FG. The visual appearance is fine though.

    • Thanks for your feedback. Yes, the memorials on the test site are out of date. When this is on the live site, you’ll see all the updated information.

  8. I have now tried out all the various search options that you suggested. I personally like the page breaks on the lists. It is very helpful and makes searching a bit easier. The visual appearance of the pages are fine and easy to read. Other than the memorials not being up to date, which I presume is due to the beta format, I really think your update works well.

  9. When searching by name with a HUGE list, in the Beta I found that going to “More Search options” then clicking on “Browse Cemetery Location” is extremely helpful when you do not know what cemetery they are buried in. It helps to narrow the search quite a bit.

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