Chapter 9. Accessibility

This was a challenging chapter to write because other than wearing glasses and contact lenses, neither of us needs to use special accessibility equipment or software. We have tried to bring together a collection of tools and techniques in this chapter that will ideally help you find some of the more obvious accessibility problems in your code.

We look at how you can use landmarks and ARIA roles, which will add meaning and structure to your pages that would otherwise come only from visual grouping. We then have several recipes that show how to run manual and automated audits on your application, look for glitches in code with static analysis, and find runtime errors by automating browsers.

We then look at some of the more technical issues involved in creating custom dialogs (hint: try to use prebuilt ones from libraries), and finally, we build a simple screen reader.

For a more in-depth look at accessibility, be sure to check the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which provide three conformance levels: A, AA, and AAA. AAA is the highest level of conformance.

If you are writing professional software, you will ideally find these recipes helpful. But nothing can replace the experience of someone who has to live with the issues caused by inaccessible software every day of their lives. Accessible software is simply good software. It maximizes your market and forces you to think more deeply about design. We would recommend, at the least, having an ...

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