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
Posted by Ian on Monday, September 29, 2008

1 Comment

  1. So says Gez

    Hi Ian,

    Something most people with a blog can do right away is use aria-required for required fields in their comment forms. People could also use document landmark roles with static websites, although they’re not supported at the moment with AT. But they do no harm, and when they are supported, provide a convenient means for people to navigate to a particular section, such as navigation, and help orientate themselves within the content.



    Added September 30, 2008 at 9:16 am

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