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Chapter 2. Text > Understanding WAI-ARIA

Understanding WAI-ARIA

The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative’s Accessible Rich Internet Applications suite (WAI-ARIA) is an independent spec that “plugs the holes” in HTML 4 (or any other markup language) to help web applications and web pages to be made more accessible.

Imagine that you have scripted a slider control. In HTML 4 there is no native slider, so if you just have some HTML elements (an <input>, some images) with some JavaScript attached to act and look like a slider. There is no way to tell the operating system that the role of this widget is a slider and what its current state and value are, and if the operating system doesn’t know that vital information, assistive technology such as screen readers can’t convey it to the user either.


  

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