Is there an accessibility option to turn off sticky page elements on GitHub?

The GitHub website has a bunch of pages that use “position: sticky” to pin elements to the top of the page. Unfortunately this makes it much harder for me to use the website.

Every time a new one is introduced, I have to spend an hour editing local CSS overrides to get rid of the sticky effect so that I can keep using the site.

(And it’s not as easy as overriding “position”, because GitHub uses JS that will aggressively detect you doing this and use other means to pin things, which tends to break the layout and make the site slower.)

Is there any accessibility option to turn this all off, or am I doomed to just having to constantly hack CSS to be able to use GitHub?

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:wave: Welcome!

Thanks for the feedback. I’d love to find out more about how this has impacted your use of GitHub if you’re happy to share! I can pass that information on to our accessibility and design folks too.

It would be super useful to know what assistive tools you are using where this causes problems, and which parts of GitHub would you say are the most impacted/worst to use because of this.

If I try to scroll down a page, and parts of the page start moving/stopping/animating in a way that differs from the scroll, that movement prevents me from concentrating and makes me feel sick.

For some websites I can use user CSS tools to override position: sticky so that I can use the site. But GitHub uses JS to detect that I have done this, and forcibly uses JS to restore the effect and keep making me sick. (This also doesn’t work on mobile, so I have been forced to use GitHub less and less on mobile as these problems multiply.)

This affects any page with position: sticky or an equivalent effect. It also affects many pages with position: fixed effects, though those are sometimes not as severe as the sticky ones.

For GitHub specifically, this affects any page with a readme file (I think this is a recent change?), any attempt to review or read a pull request, the user profile page, and possibly others. It also affects this GitHub Community site; the top bar and scroll indicator make this forum very hostile to use.

Thank you - that’s a good and comprehensive write up, and I appreciate the time you’ve put into that. I’ve opened an issue for our site design team so that they can see your feedback.

As a personal aside - thank you! While looking into this I discovered motion reducing accessibility settings that have already much improved my day, but I can also see that it doesn’t have any effect on GitHub.

Unfortunately, a lot of the existing mechanisms for reducing “motion” are exclusionary, since they incorrectly assume that there is exactly one kind of motion sensitivity that affects all people identically.

In particular, the prefers-reduced-motion CSS media feature is a very poor indicator of whether the user is sensitive to particular kinds of motion or not, because it’s usually tied to an OS-wide preference that has huge side-effects. (I can’t use it, for example.)

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