Web 2.0 applications can enhance usability, alas a lot of issues remain to make them accessible. Gez Lemon has come up with scripting solutions to inform screen readers about the change of content, but when I talked with Jan Eric Hellbusch he deemed it rather confusing because the user’s work flow is interrupted.

The W3C’s standards draft for Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) addresses those limitations. It provides new ways of communicating meaning, importance, and relationships, and it fills gaps in the (X)HTML specifications and increases usability for all users by enabling navigation models familiar from desktop applications. Best of all, you can start using ARIA right away to enhance the accessibility of your websites.

I held talks about the upcoming standards in Cologne and Frankfurt, which resulted in writing a blog entry about the topic that eventually became an article for A List Apart. ;)

Update: there’s also a German translation of the article at Barrierekompass.

If you’d like to learn more I’ll be speaking at the BarCamp in Frankfurt on April 21-22, and the Infopark Internet Congress in Berlin on May 11th.

19 Responses to ‘A-listed’

  1. Stratégie Technologique » Accessibilité des applications web 2.0

    […] A List Apart publie ce jour un article sur le WAI-ARIA, draft normalisant l’accessibilité de nos applications riches, utilisable dès aujourd’hui en extension de XHTML 1. […]

  2. Gary Bishop ­» Accessible Web 2.0 Applications with WAI-ARIA

    […] Over at A List Apart (a very useful resource on all things web related), there is an interesting article on accessible web applications. […]

  3. Ainda a Pensar ­» A List Apart 235

    […] No número 235 do A List Apart Martin Kliehm fala de Aplicações Web 2.0 Acessíveis com WAI-ARIA. Para quem não saiba ele explica muito bem as implicações das WAI-ARIA. As nossas aplicações podem sofrer de problemas de acessibilidade devido às limitações de marcação existentes. Martin ajuda a percebermos as especificações WAI para Aplicações de Internet Ricas e Acessíveis (ARIA) para melhorar a usabilidade. […]

  4. JackP

    Nice article on ALA by the way. I read it this morning and thought “hey, I know that guy. Didn’t I argue with him about Joe Clark before threatening to play Dungeons and Dragons against him at some point…”.

    And sure enough, it was you. Nice article, like I said. :-)

  5. metrohead ­» web2.0 barrierefrei?

    […] Oder besser gefragt: Wie kann ich die ganzen ajaxifizierten Schalter, Buttons, Dialoge, Fortschrittsanzeiger ect. auch für Nutzer mit eingeschränkten Möglichkeiten der Internetnutzung zugänglich machen. Eine Frage, die im Hype öffentlich nicht viel Beachtung fand. Im Hintergrund wurde natürlich an dem Thema gearbeitet. Ergebnisse dieses Arbeit präsentiert nun A LIST APART in einem sehr ausführlichen Artikel. […]

  6. Amir Dotan » The “role� attribute has been added to XHTML to make AJAX apps more accessible

    […] Web 2.0 AJAX based web apps have had a number of considerable accessibility issues for a while now. This is primarily due to the fact that unlike a “normal” HTML page they aren’t linear and the focus shifts to different parts of the page as various updates occur. It seems that in a somewhat speedy process, new extensions to XHTML will allow developers to add additional meaning to their markup to make them more accessible. […]

  7. ДоÑ?тупные Web 2.0 приложениÑ? на WAI-ARIA

    Самое, пожалуй, интереÑ?наÑ? за поÑ?леднее времÑ? Ñ?татьÑ?: как должны взаимодейÑ?твовать веб-Ñ?тандарты и раÑ?ширенные предложениÑ? (англ.).

  8. The Web Standards Project ­» Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) at ALA

    […] WaSP ILG member Martin Kliehm writes about the WAI draft for Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) at A List Apart this week. […] In the article, Martin shows us how many of these ARIA proposals work, as he includes information about roles, states, and properties. Martin gives resources and clear examples along with advantages and disadvantages of using each. […] After I finished reading the article, I thought others may like to take a closer look and experiment with some of these items to see how they work, too. […]

  9. Vito Tardia » Applicazioni Web 2.0 accessibili con WAI-ARIA

    […] Inizia così l’interessante articolo di Martin Kliehm su A List Apart. L’articolo introduce il concetto WAI-ARIA con un po’ di storia e alcuni suggerimenti per cominciare a sviluppare da subito le nostre applicazioni Web 2.0 accessibili. Assolutamente da non perdere! […]

  10. Dusted Blog » Inaccessible Web 2.0

    […] One of the drawbacks of web 2.0 apps is that the limitations of (X)HTML can cause usability and accessibility problems. The W3C’s standards draft for Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) looks to address those limitations. The underlying reason for moving in this direction is that the W3C state that JavaScript is found on over 50% of all Web sites today, dramatically affecting the ability for persons with disabilities to access Web content. To have a read and check out some code, have a read of this ALA article. […]

  11. Ajaxian » Accessible Web 2.0 Applications with WAI-ARIA

    […] Martin Kliehm has written up a nice overview of what is going on in the world of accessible Web 2.0 applications. […] I have been playing more and more with the graceful failback side of Ajax, and how microformats can help out. It seems to be able adding semantics to our simple building box (CSS classes and such). […]

  12. Anysurfer » Over ARIA op A List Apart

    […] Ik schreef eerder al uitgebreid over ARIA (in „W3C maakt werk van toegankelijkheid webapplicatiesâ€? en in de nieuwsbrief van februari 2007). ARIA is een veelbelovende W3C-aanbeveling (in draft, maar toch al ondersteund door sommige asstive technology vendors) die de toegankelijkheid van webapplicaties eindelijk een serieuze boost kan geven. Nu kan iedere webdesigner kennismaken met ARIA dankzij een duidelijk en hands on artikel op A List Apart. […]

  13. Accessify: A List Apart article on WAI-ARIA

    […] In this month’s issue of A List Apart, Martin Kliehm gives us a peek at the potential of Accessible Web 2.0 Applications with WAI-ARIA. […]

  14. Indirect Manipulation » Things Only I Can See

    […] There was a terrific article by Martin Kliehm about a week ago on A List Apart about the W3C’s standards draft for creating accessible Web 2.0 applications. (It’s known as ARIA for Accessible Rich Internet Applications). The intention is to increase usability by sidestepping some of the limitiations of (X)HTML, tapping into the extensibility features inherent in compliant browser environments. […]

  15. Ferry den Dopper » Webtoegankelijkheid voor gevorderden

    […] Op internet wordt er veel geblogd over AJAX en toegankelijkheid. Het houdt veel mensen bezig. Helaas betekent dit dat er blijkbaar nog geen pasklaar antwoord is. Het goede nieuws is echter dat veel mensen er serieus mee aan de slag zijn gegaan. Zo is er de Hijax methodologie ontwikkeld dat uitgaat van „progressive enhancementâ€?, wat toegankelijkheid zou moeten waarborgen. En het W3C werkt aan standaarden voor Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA). Ik ben heel benieuwd naar de ontwikkelingen op dit gebied. […]

  16. LibrarianInBlack » Web 2.0 and accessibility

    Martin Kliehm has written an excellent article on A List Apart entitled: Accessible Web 2.0 Applications with WAI-ARIA. If you’re a major geek like I am, you’ll enjoy learning about the tabindex attribute, namespaces, and more and and how they can help make our 2.0 sites more accessible.

  17. monc’s kitchen » Roles for Accessible Rich Internet Applications

    Martin Kliehm has written a brief article at A List Apart where he takes a closer look at the Accessible Web 2.0 Applications with WAI-ARIA. Based on one of the most recent W3 family member Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) Suite Overview, Martin dives in to the nest of role attributes as well as some of the states and properties W3 has been suggesting as the new accessibility drafts for web applications. […] In other words: get used to adding some roles to your markup already now. It can’t hurt and it will most probably be a standard rule for the future.

  18. jebswebs » Accessibility and Web 2.0 — The Back of the Bus?

    A List Apart has a great blog entry detailing the controversy over all of the latest Web 2.0 applications and accessibility / usability compliance. The article is out there on the edge and talks about thinks like XML Schema namespaces, DOM Scripting, and DTD extensions. This is pretty heavy stuff and not for the average FrontPage user.

    Frankly, I look at some of the latest Web 2.0 applications and think that people using screen readers are getting further and further pushed to the back of the bus.

    I am so happy to hear that there are folks out there who understand all of this and are following through to keep accessibility in the forefront — or at least a lot closer than the back of the bus.

  19. Boagworld » Show 76: Clients and Agency

    […] Marcus and Paul swap roles this week. Marcus talks about setting up a web design company in the agony uncle section while Paul talks about the role of the client in the client corner. Finally we have also have Derek Featherstone talking about making your web application accessible. […]