Saturday, 14 November 2009

Is the web becoming accessible?

Been wondering for a while how to deal with accessibilty over the web once we really get into riach internet applications because that means tons of javascript. Current screen readers, as far as I know, just don't deal with javascript well but we can't make the leap into rich apps without it.

My assumption is that big players in html and the web have known this for years and are working hard to sort this. It's been on my mind to find out what that is. I expect it to e developing screen readers that bridge the gap, developing standards to follow. Building the capabilities into browsers. that kind of thing.

Well I'm now able to put my first bit of research up due to the wonders of youtube. I noticed this video on gmail accessiblity whilst watching a wave demo.

I learnt about accessible rich internet applications(aria). My interest is because I want to use and build with the google tools gmail is based on and so their accessiblity is important to me. Great to know this is on the web roadmap because it's going to be hard to get support for developing the next step in web apps with out built in support for accessiblity.

I'm  hoping to expand on this over time and find out how to make web sites accessible, what tools you need and what standards to follow.

edit 20091208
I mentioned this to the accessibility expert at work and was kindly given a whole bunch more links related to ARIA. Apparnetly NVDA is a windows based screen reader that support ARIA. Unfortunately we both agree that best practice is currently to provide non javascript reliant functionality and that the jump from web page interaction to desktop-like interaction will be a big one for many users with accessibility challenges.

From a wider set of links on accessiblity I found webanywhere, under assistivetech which seems more up my street. Screenreading software in the browser that requires no install.

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