Web 2.0 and accessibility

Web 2.0 is the hottest buzzword since Ajax, and I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one worried about what thoughtless implementation of everything that fits in "Web 2.0" could mean for accessibility and device independence on the web. From Bruce Lawson's On "Web 2.0":

But in the rush to "Ajaxify" everything (whether it actually serves a useful purpose other than saying "ooh look at me I'm web 2.0 too!"), the majority of developers are not properly thinking through the accessibility ramifications.

There is some truth to Bruce's observations, and it would be a sad step backwards if the perceived coolness of "Web 2.0" brings back the old days of non-graceful degradation. Using scripting to enhance usability or to add "cool" features is fine, as long as it's done in a responsible way.

Update (2008): There has been some progress since this article was published. WAI-ARIA is intended to help developers make dynamic content and advanced custom user interface controls accessible. Also see WAI-ARIA Overview for more information.

Posted on November 29, 2005 in Quicklinks