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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Roadmap for Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA)

W3C announced that the Protocols and Formats Working Group has published
updated Working Drafts of the WAI-ARIA Roadmap, WAI-ARIA Roles, and
WAI-ARIA States and Properties. The WAI-ARIA Suite of documents
addresses the accessibility to people with disabilities of dynamic Web
content built with Ajax and DHTML. WAI-ARIA includes technologies to
map controls, Ajax live regions, and events to accessibility APIs,
including custom controls used for rich Internet applications. It also
describes new navigation techniques to mark common Web structures as
menus, primary content, secondary content, banner information and other
types of Web structures. Implementation of WAI-ARIA in languages such
as HTML 4, HTML 5 and XHTML is in active development. According to a
SecuritySpace Technology Penetration Report, more than 55% of all Web
sites today contain JavaScript, dramatically affecting the ability for
persons with disabilities to access Web content. HTML and other markup
does not provide adequate markup to support accessible dynamic content.
A number of W3C initiatives are underway to address this problem using
a declarative markup approach. This roadmap is designed to create a
bridge to fix the interoperability problem with assistive technologies
now by incorporating the appropriate meta data in current XHTML markup
to support today's accessibility API. It will incorporate some of the
advanced accessibility features, originally designed, in technologies
like XHTML2. The intent of XHTML 2 is to make the enablement of Web
applications and documents easier for authors. This roadmap will create
cross-cutting technologies that XHTML authors may incorporate in their
markup to describe GUI widgets and document structures to aide assistive
technology vendors in providing accessible, usable solutions. The W3C
WAI PF working group will work with User Agent manufacturers and
assistive technology vendors to ensure a working solution. More Information

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