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Web Accessibility for Developers

 

 

 

 

Beyond WCAG 2.0 are resources for developers who use DHTML and AJAX. These resources are called “Accessible Rich Internet Applications”, or ARIA.
Before ARIA:

WCAG 1.0 required developers to make sure that their applications were accessible even with JavaScript turned off
Users were in fact advised to turn off JavaScript

This became unsustainable.
What Causes the Problem?
In more or less static HTML, it was possible to rely on the tags themselves to have an accessibility role. For example, a table and all the elements within it had potential accessibility roles and features. The limited number of tags meant that assistive technology products running in browsers had a limited number of tasks to accomplish, and all the tasks were well defined.
In an AJAX environment, with both dynamic content and on-the-fly user interface elements, the developer had new freedome to create whatever interface he/she wanted, but assistive technology could not know in advance what it was going to encounter, and could not semantically understand what was expected of it.
ARIA is an attempt to reconcile the freedom of open interface coding with the needs of disabled users to access the web, and the needs of assistive technology vendors to regularize the environment in which their products must work.

 

Developers of dynamic web content cannot provide the appropriate accessibility information in the markup to support the accessibility APIs on the target platform.

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