Supporting the blind – Accessible AJAX with unobtrusive Javascript

I posted earlier about how a federal judge has ruled that the ADA applies to web sites, and that a lawsuit against Target can go forward. I mentioned that it wasn’t too hard to support the blind, and that through the mojo of unobtrusive Javascript, you can even make it work on AJAX-powered web2.0 sites that the kids are into these days.

Some of you might scoff at the notion that it is easy or even possible, so I thought I would write a quick followup with some links to further information.

Web Accessibility

The W3C has a whole section about their guidelines. Here you can find guidelines, techniques, and the Section 508 rules.

You can also Dive Into Accessability. Here you’ll find tips arranged by specific disability.
Accessible Javascript and AJAX

AJAX, JavaScript and accessibility from Robert’s Talk. This is a great page with real code examples of how you can employ a progressive enhancement strategy with your scripts.

Digital Web Magazine has a good page about separating content from behavior. More good examples here. Many web developers have adopted the practice of separating content from presentation using CSS. You can also define a behavior layer using external .js includes.

Ben Nolan has a Behavior script you can download. In addition to some helpful examples, you can download and use his framework to get started quickly.

Written by Jason

Last 3 posts by Jason

  1. Yeah I think they already have something for blind people like that. It gives you all sorts of different information about news, sports, entertainment. You can even listen to music with it. Its called a Radio bitches. Seriously what are you gonna do listen to some girl be fisted by a midget tranny with one leg, its just not the same.

    D Wallz
    September 12th, 2006 at 11:56 pm
  2. Here’s a recent article on making AJAX accessible; all you need to do is tag the areas that are going to be updating as described in the article.

    http://juicystudio.com/article/wai-aria-live-regions.php

    Best of all, this new standard is already starting to be used; there’s even a free screen reader at http://firevox.clcworld.net that supports this ajax accessibility / live region stuff.

    Oakley
    February 15th, 2007 at 3:27 pm

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