Latest Accessibility News on Accessify

ARIA on the fast track?

As Birmingham bruiser Brucey pointed out over the weekend, the W3C are keen for web developers to start embracing WAI-ARIA techniques now. As he said:

The Web Accessiiblity Initiative’s Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite, WAI-ARIA is a simple way to add information to HTML that can make Ajax applications accessible. It’s being supported by all the big four browsers and screenreaders are starting to support it. … Therefore, although the specification is still formally in “Working Draft” status, the W3C are encouraging authors to use it now.

This is excellent news, although he raises the issue that to use ARIA you do have to add in non-standard attributes that will then trigger HTML validator failures. But, as one commenter pointed out, ARIA techniques assume use of JavaScript therefore you may as well add them in using JavaScript which will then stop the validator bitching about your errors.

I’m keen to put this in to use with something, but have been so careful to avoid AJAX and the like for some time that it’s actually quite a difficult thing to break out of that mindset. But the moment that I do see an opportunity, I’ll be implementing ARIA.

Filed under: Accessibility, WAI-ARIA
Comments (1) Posted by Ian on Monday, September 29, 2008

Adding to the chorus: Save the UT Accessibility Institute

Apologies for those who’ve already seen this posted elsewhere (lateness excuse: on holiday, no internet etc etc). It should be no surprise that it’s getting so much coverage, though - the Accessibility Institute at the University of Texas has been a leading light in this field of research. When I think of the people whose opinions I value the most with regards web accessibility, a large number of them came from this very place (including, of course, its founder Dr John Slatin who recently passed away). If the institute were not able to open its doors in future, I strongly believe that web accessibility as a discipline would suffer. If accessibility is important to you, I encourage you to go sign the petition now. All it takes is a moment of your time.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Ian on Monday, September 8, 2008