Accessible DHTML: two different approaches

One of the new features in Firefox 1.5 is support for DHTML accessibility, something that is being developed at the W3C and is described in Dynamic Accessible Web Content Roadmap (currently a Working Draft). The goal is to provide a way of making websites that use widgets normally found in desktop applications accessible to keyboard users and assistive technologies. Examples of such widgets are sliders, tree views and menu bars.

Gez Lemon has created a keyboard accessible colour selection widget to demonstrate the new accessibility features in Firefox 1.5. Gez describes how the widget works in Firefox 1.5 Accessible Widgets.

A different approach is to use Web Forms 2, as Anne van Kesteren demonstrates in Color Picker. In this particular case that makes the script a lot simpler since there is no need to create the slider functionality - the browser takes care of that. Currently only Opera fully supports it. Safari creates the sliders but does not update the colour.

Two different approaches that both look promising.

Posted on December 7, 2005 in Accessibility, JavaScript