Technology has brought convenience and luxury for many however it is a necessity for people with disabilities.
I am writing this largely with the personal experience over a period. I wanted to write on how the technology has made the positive impact on people with disabilities for many years. I would like to specifically focus on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) space in this article.
The various initiatives such as Digital India and Accessible India are aimed at improving the digital access and accessibility of both physical and ICT respectively. India has gone on a very large scale digitalization in the last 5 years. It is right time to ensure all the digital platforms consider accessibility in all the stages from inception to product delivery.
Accessible India Campaign
The Accessible India campaign was a very good and effective initiative by the government to increase the awareness on accessibility in India. The sad state of affairs is even after launching Accessible India campaign almost 4 years ago and conducting numerous workshops to various stakeholders the state of accessibility has not been changed much on ground.
Despite having many initiatives such as Digital India, Accessible India campaigns, it is very important for India to move from accidental accessibility to rule-based accessibility. It is very important for the large organizations such as NIC to have thorough understanding and clear plan of accessibility along with the right technical skills on accessibility.
The assistive technologies such as screen readers and speech recognition applications rely on HTML semantics of the page to convey the information such as heading, button, link, etc. The assistive technologies such as screen readers also use these semantic information to provide options to the users to quickly navigate in an application with special quick navigation keys apart from tab and arrow keys.
ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) is a specification from W3C which enables to provide the semantic information to the assistive technologies in custom built applications. It is very important to use the ARIA in a right way else it will not convey the intended information to the users.
This post will discuss 10 (ten) and basic best practices of using ARIA attributes in an application. These best practices have been identified by analysing various ARIA related accessibility issues found in various custom elements.
Ideally it is good to reserve anchor <a> tag only for links and use <button> or <input type=”button”> tags for buttons from the accessibility and usability point of view. However, for various reasons we build custom buttons with <a>, <div> or <span>. The five (5) important things to be taken care to ensure that the button is accessible (ADA compliant) are discussed in this post. Ensure there is an appropriate keydown function along with the things discussed in this article.