Take the Time with Quick Reviews to Go Into Detail

Are you, at least in a professional capacity, occasionally asked to provide rather ad hoc comments on this or that web page markup? I am. Regularly, though, I make the mistake of assuming that the developers who will be receiving my comments are aware of web standards and accessibility concerns that I typically consider part of good development. This is… Continue reading

HTML5, ARIA Roles, and Screen Readers in March 2011

Last year, in HTML5, ARIA Roles, and Screen Readers in March 2010, I took a look at how then current screen readers behaved with some of the HTML5 section elements and related WAI-ARIA document and landmark roles. Now that the major screen readers have all seen some significant updates, and both Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9 have officially been… Continue reading

It's Spelled aria-labelledby

This is just a quick note on spelling. The specification for aria-labelledby identifies the attribute’s correct spelling as “aria-labelledby”, as opposed to what might be its expected U.S. English spelling, “aria-labeledby”. Apparently, the approved spelling was selected to minimize the difficulty for developers. However, seeing as how easy it is to find examples in the wild where the attribute is… Continue reading

An ARIA alert Test Case

I put together a few examples of ARIA alerts and tested them with JAWS and NVDA in Firefox 3.6, Internet Explorer 7 and 8. The interesting bit is how alerts can be improved for JAWS 10 in Internet Explorer by adding an aria-live attribute value of “assertive”. Continue reading

Not All ARIA Widgets Deserve role="application"

There are currently some great examples of WAI-ARIA-enabled widgets out there making the rounds. In particular, there’s Hans Hillen’s JQuery Widget Samples and the collection from the OpenAjax Alliance. These are nothing short of very useful. After all, ARIA is yet to be a full W3C recommendation (or standard, if you prefer), and we are all, or at least I… Continue reading

Programmatically Determined

The phrase “programmatically determined” features prominently in six of the 61 WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria. It’s a bit of a mouthful, for sure, and perhaps a little daunting to those getting into accessibility and WCAG for the first time, but it’s really not that complicated. Whatever the case, I think “programmatically determined” is a very useful concept for explaining, particularly to web developers, something about WCAG, what web accessibility means and why the proper use of HTML is so important. Continue reading

An HTML5 plus ARIA "Sanity Check": Working Around Bugs in AT

Dennis at WebAxe recently called for developers to take a “sanity check” when working with HTML5. His point was not to dissuade us from developing with HTML5, but to remind us to do so “caution and care”, in particular because of the current level of support among different browsers and assistive technnologies (AT) for HTML5 and WAI-ARIA. But what do we do when faced with a user agent or AT that, as a result of a bug in its software, and instead of simply ignoring what it doesn’t understand, actively misbehaves when it comes across this or that HTML5 construct or ARIA attribute? Continue reading

VoiceOver and Tables with an Empty First Header Cell

The Problem I noticed some interesting behaviour with VoiceOver 3 when working with data tables whose first cell in the first, or header, row is an empty td element. In these cases, VoiceOver does not correctly associate data cells with their proper column th header cells. Instead, VoiceOver seems to shift the header cells one column to the left, such… Continue reading

Title Attributes as Form Control Labels

Sometimes, often as a result of a web page’s layout or design, a label element cannot be used to identify a form control. Certainly, one can always use a visually hidden label, which is my preferred approach: you never know how the design might change in the future, at which point, if you’ve already got the label in the markup,… Continue reading