Android Accessibility Testing and Fixing in 30 seconds

The Google Accessibility team recently invited Android developers from around the Bay Area to spend an afternoon learning how to make their applications accessible. The event showed these developers how easy it is to make their applications as accessible as possible. One of the tools featured was Android Lint. I was so impressed by the functionality that I made the following video: Android Accessibility Solution in 30 Seconds
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Debugging aria-label on elements

Sat, Sun, Mon - Forecast iconsI recently helped do some testing on the new version Yahoo! Mail for iPads and was stumped by an aria-label not working as expected. It was one of those gotcha moments, when you realize a confusion with a fundamental process. Are you wondering why your aria-label is not being announced?

It’s tempting to use the aria-label attribute in situations where the visible text is not adequate. For instance, you may use a background image to represent a value and you’d like the user to know that value via an aria-label on the parent.

This basic test page will walk through the simple assumption and show how the aria-label is meant to be used.

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Design for users with Cognitive Disabilities

Ruth Ellison created this presentation about cognitive disabilities. It’s difficult to design for these users due to the wide spectrum of disability impact and what helps one person may cause problems for another. However, there are some solid suggestions in this presentation that will help you create a more accessible web site.
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Yahoo! Accessibility Lab code library

I haven’t been posting much to this blog for the past year. But that’s not because I’ve been lazy. I’ve been writing a lot of tutorials about creating more accessible web sites on the Yahoo! Accessibility Lab’s Code Library.

You’ll find some great resources for using CSS, basic HTML, JavaScript, and ARIA.

Update

These articles are in the process of being moved to the Yahoo Developer Network blog for archiving. Please check there if the Code Library is not working.

ARIA support with the YUI library

AJAX and DHTML have made web sites more interactive and easier to use. At least for visitors who are not using a screen reader. Screen reader users have to struggle with pages that lose focus, change without prompting the user of new data, and much more. However, there are many developers working on solutions to this problem.

Todd Kloots, of the Yahoo User Interface group was one of the first to develop accessible javascript libraries with the YUI menu package. He just published a blog post on the YUI web site about adding ARIA support to the YUI tab package. This information could also help you add this functionality to your existing YUI-based applications.

Here’s how Todd describes the goal

The YUI TabView Control is built on a strong
foundation of semantic markup that provides users with some basic accessibility. But while TabView looks like a desktop tab control, screen readers don’t present it as an atomic
widget, leaving users to figure out how the various HTML elements that compose a TabView relate to each other. However, through the application of the WAI-ARIA Roles and States, it is possible to enhance TabView’s accessibility such that users of screen readers perceive it as a desktop tab control.

Enhancing TabView Accessibility with WAI-ARIA Roles and States – Todd Kloots

The following video shows how this approach works with Firefox and a screen reader.

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