Accessibility Considerations for Design Patterns

Richard Schwerdtfeger schwer at
Wed Aug 15 21:59:07 UTC 2007


The design patterns will be very useful in driving the appropriate


I have just got back from vacation and digging out of the backlog. Other
than the light box, are there other non-Dojo, FLUID widgets I can test with
JAWS xxx/Firefox 3 that have implemented ARIA?

BTW. Glad to see Oracle on board. Welcome!


Rich Schwerdtfeger
Distinguished Engineer, SWG Accessibility Architect/Strategist
Chair, IBM Accessibility Architecture Review  Board

             Colin Clark                                                   
             <colin.clark at utor                                             
   >                                                   To 
             Sent by:                  Anastasia Cheetham                  
             fluid-work-bounce         <a.cheetham at>            
             s at fluidproject.or                                          cc 
             g                         fluid-work at         
                                       Re: Accessibility Considerations    
             08/15/2007 02:02          for Design Patterns                 

Hi all,

This discussion about accessibility for our design patterns has been
really interesting!

Anastasia's got a good point about ARIA. As we start to build rich user
interfaces that more closely mimic the kinds of interactions we see in
desktop applications, there is the potential for significant
accessibility improvements.

On the other hand, ARIA is fairly involved and requires a deep
understanding of the various roles, states and properties that are
appropriate for a particular UI. This is one of the places where the
design patterns can be really helpful for the swiss army-type developer.
If we can identify the ARIA markup that is most appropriate for the
particular context, we'll be saving developers a lot of time.

Of course, Fluid components will all have this markup built right in, so
anyone who uses one will get it for free. ;)

I'll make sure we allocate some time for Anastasia and other ATRC Fluid
developers to help add ARIA information to the patterns. We've been
learning a *lot* about it recently. If you have experience with ARIA and
are willing to lend a hand, please do!


Anastasia Cheetham wrote:
> Mike, this looks really good.
> In the Design Pattern Accessibility page, you may wish to add
> information about the work that WAI is doing as part of their
> Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) suite of specifications.
> Their roadmap document
> provides an overview of the specifications.
> Currently, HTML only allows script authors to place focus on form and
> anchor elements. Much of today's markup is structured such that
> effective navigation requires focus on other types of elements, such
> as div elements.
> The WAI ARIA work is incorporating a feature into Firefox and IE to
> support a tabindex value of -1, to allow scripts to set focus on
> elements that are not within the regular tab order. This is described
> in more detail in section 5.1.3 of the document:
> There is also an 'activedescendent' attribute which indicates which
> child element of a currently focussed element is active. The Fluid
> Lightbox component uses this attribute to indicate which thumbnail in
> the Gallery collection is currently active when the Lightbox itself
> has focus.
> This information is specified in detail in the States and Properties
> specification:
> in particular:

Colin Clark
Technical Lead, Fluid Project
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, University of Toronto
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fluid-work at
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