What is WAI-ARIA, what does it do for me, and what not?
27th of March 2014
On March 20, 2014, the W3C finally published the WAI-ARIA standard version 1.0. After many years of development, refinement and testing, it is now a web standard.
But I am often asked again and again: What is it exactly? What can it do for me as a web developer? And what can it not do?
I often find that there are assumptions made about WAI-ARIA that are not correct, and the use of it with such wrong assumptions often lead to sites that are less accessible than when ARIA is not being used at all.
In addition, Jared W Smith of WebAIM just yesterday wrote a very good blog post titled Accessibility Lipstick on a Usability Pig, highlighting another related problem: Even though a website may suck usability-wise, pouring WAI-ARIA sugar on it somehow forces it into compliance, but it still sucks big time.
So with all these combined, and after receiving encouragement by Jason Kiss on Twitter, I decided to write this post about what WAI-ARIA is, what it can do for you as a web developer, and what it [...]