WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: Intro to Advanced Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA)


From: Mallory
Date: May 15, 2017 4:28AM

Well, buttons have no reason to be difficult to style... not unless
supporting versions of IE that only run on Windows XP still. But
radio buttons and checkboxes... big time. And because designers
still live in the world of pixels, we couldn't even really use the
Filament Group's "hack" for styling selects because it doesn't
really work unless you use em's for padding styling. Oh but
our selects must be exactly 36px tall or the design breaks :/

And this:
>and designers design the UI without considering
> the underlying HTML, they think about the looks, leave the
> implementation to the developer.

This is spot-on. Add in that the developers are not always
actual front-end developers but are backenders who know
just enough HTML to imitate the design and it works with
a mouse... this is sorta the plastic in the ocean. It grows
faster than anyone can clean it up, and cleanup always
leaves the tiny bits behind anyway.

I think devs are adding unnecessary ARIA for the reasons
I've been hearing from dev teams at my work:
"We added all the ARIA stuff for compliance." Bleh,
terrible reason. Basically fear-based programming.

They have no idea that a lot of these ARIA things are imitating
native things and roles. Also some specialists are telling
developers "this is how you could build your fake radio group
from divs and spans" for in case they need it... I discourage
this if in the particular case, the design isn't special enough
to need avoiding native elements. Because what developers
seem to do is *favour* the divs+spans+aria versions over
native, styles completely beside the point. I'm not entirely
certain why, but I can say React doesn't encourage one
over the other. The tutorials tend to show inaccessible
code (and there's a bug/issue out on exactly that) but those
don't tend to have ARIA-anything either. Just the usual divs
and spans :)


On Thu, May 11, 2017, at 02:28 PM, Birkir R. Gunnarsson wrote:
> There are actually quite a few reasons why people end up using ARIA.
> Primarily, styling the native HTML element can be very difficult,
> especially buttons, and designers design the UI without considering
> the underlying HtML, they think about the looks, leave the
> implementation to the developer.
> People use pre packaged libraries and such, that often get it wrong. I
> can´t remember if it is Ract or Angular, I think React, that ditches
> all HtML in favor of divs and spans with Javascript frosting and CSS
> sprinkles (I admit I am bad at my libraries, I know JQuery and
> Bootstrap fairly well but my knowledge outside of that is pretty
> uncharted, safe a presentation or an article here and there). For that
> we need ARIA to provide accessibility.
> And if the proper ARIA roles and states are provided and Javascript
> provides the expected interaction, there is no reason why an ARIA
> widget shouldn't be as accessible as an HTML element, that is the
> whole point of ARIA. IN reality, we're not there yet, but we should
> get there.