Martin Kliehm and I have proposed a panel called, Get Rich, Remain Accessible, for this year's SXSW Interactive Conference and Festival. Vote for our panel, and help encourage web developers to create accessible applications.
Author: Gez Lemon
The SXSW Interactive Conference and Festival is due to take place on March 7-11, 2008, and the panel picker is now available online for attendees to vote for the panels they would most like to see. Martin Kliehm and I have proposed a panel called, Get Rich, Remain Accessible - a panel about creating rich internet applications with WAI-ARIA (Web Accessibility Initiative - Accessible Rich Internet Applications).
Web applications not only break the traditional web-page paradigm, but also tend to extend the limited number of form controls afforded by HTML to provide a richer experience for their users. Unfortunately, this typically results in inaccessible applications: screen reader users might not understand the role or state of an interface element; might not be able to perceive changes; might not be able to interact with the application using the keyboard alone; and so on. WAI-ARIA addresses those issues, and Martin and I will provide an overview of how to do this with examples. In particular, we will present:
- The accessibility problems introduced by the current trend of web applications.
- New ways to add semantic meaning, communicate importance, define relationships, and give focus to elements using WAI-ARIA.
- How to limit the impact of these problems whilst WAI-ARIA is gaining support by user-agents, and techniques that work right now.
Martin Kliehm is an accessibility expert with a particular interest in accessible web applications. Martin's article about WAI-ARIA on A List Apart has been very well-received by the web community, and remains the best introduction to the subject on the Web.
If this is a subject that interests you, then please vote for our panel. You never know - you could end up with two good new friends!