Web Development

Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.0 is now a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Recommendation. Publishing WAI-ARIA is an important step making web content and application more accessible to people with disabilities. WAI-ARIA defines how developers of browsers, media players, mobile devices and assistive technologies (AT), and content developers can achieve better cross-platform accessibility. WAI-ARIA is introduce in the WAI-ARIA Overview.

More information on WAI-ARIA

Some European Bank Struggle with Accessibility

According to research conducted by the University of Oviedo, Spain 74% of the time users with disabilities don’t have equal access to banks from the EU, as determined by a sample of 50 banks. The results further show that 26% of the banks presented acceptable levels of accessibility on their websites and over 36% of the banks analyzed had major accessibility issues.

Read more on the University of Oviedo’s research.

The Indian Federation of United Nations Association (IFUNA) in association with Friends of Differently Abled (FODA) recently launched an employment website for people with disabilities. The website will link employers and persons with disabilities who can register with the site and upload the pertinent information. Those who upload their details can get help at Dr. MGR Janaki School in Saligramam on Saturdays from 4pm to 8pm.

The new Vimeo HTML5 Player has added new accessibility features that improve the video experience for people with disabilities. Like with any product, some things could be improved to make the player more accessible and easier to use for people with disabilities.

The website for Safeway’s grocery delivery will undergo accessibility and usability improvements. They will use the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, WCAG 2.0 Level AA as the standard for this effort.

Safeway worked on this initiative in structured negotiations with individual customers with visual impairments in California and Washington. The Law Offices of Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian of the Oakland, California civil rights firm Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho represented the Safeway shoppers.

The Disability Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) will focus on Cloud and Web Computing. The 3.7 million dollar project will be led by Carnegie Mellon University and sponsored by The U.S. Department of Education. The goal is to develop ways that enable people with disabilities to utilize all the resources available on the Internet.

The DRRP will include researchers at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies (iSchool) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

Aaron Steinfeld, team director and associate research professor and Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute said, “Our projects are focused on finding ways to create inclusive user experiences on the Internet.” He went on to explain, “There has been great progress over the years on Web accessibility standards and systems, but there is still a lot of work left to do.”

Read more on the project to improve web and cloud computing accessibility.

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If you have an accessible website, more persons with disabilities will frequent it.  By word of mouth, its good reputation will start to permeate the community of users with disabilities.  They might spread the word that all active elements are keyboard accessible, all images have proper text equivalents, and content has sufficient color contrast.  Since there are about one billion users with disabilities worldwide, accessible sites have the potential of getting a lot more hits than inaccessible ones.

The HTML working group at the W3C has published and updated working draft of Using WAI-ARIA in HTML.

A practical guide for developers, the document shows how to add accessibility information into HTML elements using the Accessible Rich Internet Applications specification known as WAI-ARIA. WAI-ARIA is a way to make Web content and Web application more accessible to people with disabilities. This new draft shows how to use WAI-ARIA with HTML5. It helps with dynamic content and advanced user interface controls that were developed with Ajax, HTML, JavaScript and related technologies.

Infographics on the web have skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years for many great reasons. Often, they are able to quickly convey complex bits of information and show key relationships between data sets. For sighted users, representing data as an infographic actually improves accessibility. It’s easier to understand because infographics:

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