9: Web Accessibility for JavaScript Components and Custom Elements

In Episode 9, ‘Web Accessibility for JavaScript Components and Custom Elements’. Steve Faulkner (@stevefaulkner) from The Paciello Group and Marcy Sutton (@marcysutton) from Substantial discuss the lack of focus in product development today in building accessible applications & services. Many times web accessibility becomes an afterthought in creating a software product, having little prioritization from the business side until it is a problem. Retrofitting such an important part of our development can make web accessibility seem more like a chore with low ROI for the the time taken to implement it. It can be easy if developers know how to do it and hardly any work when it is successfully incorporated into a development process and it’s valued at the business level.

 

With recent advances in the past few years in JavaScript MV* frameworks like Angular, React, & Ember we are seeing the need for web accessibility more and more. Heavy JavaScript applications tend to provide little or wrong functionality for things we take for granted like keyboard access. Examples on modifying these to better attend to user experience traditionally meant lots of overhead in development by forking the framework and updating it constantly. Based on the resources developers typically find in online searches & Roles the lack of good developer examples, WAI ARIA & even simple accessibility is easy to misunderstand.

 

Many newer client side frameworks focus on componentization of HTML elements. Angular Directives, Ember Components, React Classes and Web Components. Componentization gives developers a chance to build much faster and easier Web Accessibility using various tools like WAI ARIA roles at a much more focused & reusable level. What is the future of Web Accessibility with these technologies? Why are we so concerned about Web Accessibility?

 

References:

https://github.com/marcysutton/accessibility-of-mvcs

http://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria/appendices#a_schemata

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgvDZZ8Ms8c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPsb-RR8SC0

http://w3c.github.io/aria-in-html/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IBiXfxhF-A

http://www.polymer-project.org/articles/accessible-web-components.html

http://marcysutton.com/target-corporate-website/

http://www.w3.org/TR/2013/WD-components-intro-20130606/#decorator-section

http://www.paciellogroup.com/blog/

http://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/wat/

http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/aria

http://webaim.org/

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/Accessibility/ARIA

 

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