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Chapter 3: JavaScript Isn’t a Dirty Word, and ARIA Isn’t Just Beautiful Musi...

C H A P T E R   3

JavaScript Isn’t a Dirty Word, and ARIA Isn’t Just Beautiful Music

For a long time, JavaScript was a very dirty word in accessibility circles. It was pretty much a pariah, found in the bargain basement of web development among the Bread albums and unloved Pokémons. This wasn’t helped by the first version of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) pretty much banning it from use, and there was a division among developers regarding their attitude to using JavaScript. There was also snobbery that questioned whether it was even a proper coding language at all. The low barrier to entry, as well as its ability to work even when poorly written, didn’t help its image either. This has now all changed.

In this chapter, we’ll look at how JavaScript and other technologies can be used to build dynamic accessible web sites and Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). These are commonly developed using a combination of HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), JavaScript, and the new kid on the block, WAI-ARIA. WAI is the Web Accessibility Initiative, which is based in the W3C, and ARIA stands for Accessible Rich Internet Applications. Sometimes it is referred to as just ARIA.


  

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