Making Ajax Accessible
There are a number of myths that surround the topic of accessibility with Ajax. It is very important for both developers and users to be able to separate myths from facts. In this article I will go over some common myths that surround Ajax and accessibility, and I will take the time to address them.
One of the most common myths that surrounds Ajax is that accessibility is one issue. There are a number of problems with holding this view. When you do this, you will often combine ideas that are highly likely to be unrelated. For example, those who are blind will have different accessibility requirements from those who are not blind. If someone has a slow modem, they will need different needs than those who have high speed modems.
When it comes to Ajax, accessibility is far from being a single issue. You must be able to measure accessibility in a number of different ways. Another myth that commonly surrounds Ajax accessibility is that all the accessibility issues must be handled. While it would be nice for this to occur, developers must have realistic expectations. This does not mean blind people should be ignored. Doing this could have grave moral and legal consequences. However, it may not be necessary to cater to users who want to use a certain browser without upgrading. Developers must be able to differentiate between accessibility issues that are important and those that are not.
If the screen reader is highly advanced, you will be able to create click events and mouse overs via the keyboard, and you can inform the listener of when there is an action they may want to take. This is important feedback that many users will find useful. However, it should be noted that screen readers may have an issue with content that is generated on the screen on read by the users. This is the only time where Ajax may have problems with accessibility, and it is something that developers and users will want to consider. Many developers have taken the time to design websites that can interact properly with screen readers and deal with the issue of the content that has been generated.
When you talk about accessibility with Ajax, many people will be under the impression that you are referring to users who are blind. However, this may not always be the case. Despite this, there are some people that feel that accessibility should always be considered at the meta level. Indeed, there are many elements that need to address access issues, and some of them are the accessibility via keyboards, which will be useful for people who are disabled. The keyboard access issue is very important to people who are blind, or who cannot use a mouse. It is important to separate usability from accessibility.
Understanding the limitations of software will be of great use to developers. Many people will agree that the need to upgrade an older browswer is not an accessibility issue. It is more of an issue of someone who simply doesn’t want to upgrade. Having said that, there are a number of myths which surround Ajax, and knowing how to logically dismiss these myths will be of great importance to those who wish to either develop Ajax applications, or use them successfully.
Despite these issues, there can be little doubt that Ajax has what it takes to change the web. It can make it highly responsive, and a higher interaction can be made between users and web interfaces. But this success will not come without challenges, and this is something that both developers and users will have to accept if they wish to succeed.