HTML5 and WAI-ARIA Drama Llamas

Lately I was reading there was some noise surrounding HTML5 and the myth of WAI-ARIA redundance. It surprises me how quickly finding the actual problem here is dismissed as “who knows.” It almost seems as if some part of the accessibility community has shifted from promoting the writing of clean markup, to promoting write whatever the fuck you want as long as you make it accessible. Write whatever you want with some WAI-ARIA sugar on top is in some scenarios the only thing what works right now. I do not believe that means we should just let it run its course. The real solution to making a button implemented using five div elements and some scripting accessible is not WAI-ARIA. It is to drastically improve the styling capabilities of <input type="button">.

The solution to making new patterns accessible is to create smarter ways for people to do them that are automatically accessible and do not require annotation with WAI-ARIA. WAI-ARIA is still useful to push the envelope, but the long tail of the Web is just not going to care enough. It would be terrible if only the top five hundred or so websites in each country were accessible mostly due to accessibility advocacy groups. Especially since we have the ability to do much better than that.

As an example take the new HTML5 progress element. It greatly simplifies creating a progress bar and when implemented correctly in user agents it is automatically accessible. However, the whole user interface part of the element is somewhat up in the air. I do not think I am personally the right person to work on that, but that is the kind of problem we should be trying to tackle.

Published by theirishduck

I love the ability where I can plan, prioritise, design, develop and deliver blended learning solutions for a variety of markets. I love to consult and advise about the best use of digital learning and improve design standards in line with evolving ways of working. I also enjoy to keep up to date with, understand and regularly recommend emerging technologies and practice to improve individuals, teams and organisational capabilities. With over 12 years digital learning experience and demonstrated experience in both instructional design and eLearning development, I have also a lot of experience conducting training needs analysis including how to leverage principles such as design thinking and root cause analysis to understand and address performance gaps. I also have led many facilitation workshops and even presented at iDesignX and Game Developers Conferences both here in Australia, Wales and in the United States. I bring loads of coding experience in Java, ASM, C++, HTML, JavaScript, SCORM and xAPI, as well as proven capability using Adobe Captivate, Trivantis Lectora and Articulate Storyline 360 Studio authoring programs. Of course, Adobe Creative Cloud is also part of my toolbox which I also use daily. Being taught traditional and advanced 3D animation techniques, I love hand drawing and polymer clay sculpture, but can also use the Blender, 3D Studio Max, Maya and Softimage applications. With strong multimedia, training and programming backgrounds, I understand modern learner behaviour including micro and social learning, I am very familiar with most LMSes and app-based (XCode and Android Studio), adult learning models and e-solutions. I also possess the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, whilst being pro-active in delivering work independently with minimal supervision, but enjoy working in teams. I've been told I am a resilient, relationship focused guy which can manage and navigate conflicting views and stakeholders/subject matter experts.

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