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<The Accessibility of WAI-ARIA ⁄ >




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Web developers interested in accessibility issues often discuss WAI-ARIA, an upcoming W3C candidate recommendation aimed at making web applications more accessible to blind and visually impaired users. But, can we recommend WAI-ARIA without reservation?

The accessibility community has welcomed the development of WAI-ARIA. Clearly, there are many benefits for screen reader users. Previously, when webpages were dynamically updated, screen reader users were unaware that something had changed, or else were thrown back to the top of the page. Now, WAI-ARIA can inform the screen reader about dynamic changes. We can make complex custom widgets-such as pulldown menus, tabpanels, hierarchical trees, or sliders-accessible by mapping their elements to the roles, properties, and states defined in the standard and supported by the system's accessibility API-provided that users have recent versions of browsers and screen readers that support the standard.



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