Making Accessibility Simpler, With Ally.js

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I’ve been a web developer for 15 years, but I’d never looked into accessibility. I didn’t know enough people with (serious) disabilities to properly understand the need for accessible applications and no customer has ever required me to know what ARIA is. But I got involved with accessibility anyway – and that’s the story I’d like to share with you today.

Making Accessibility Simpler

At the Fronteers Conference in October 2014 I saw Heydon Pickering give a talk called “Getting nowhere with CSS best practices”. Among other things, he made a case for using WAI-ARIA attributes like aria-disabled="true" instead of classes like .is-disabled to express application state. It struck me then and there that I was missing out on a few well-prepared standards, simply because ARIA belongs to that accessibility space that I had no idea of.

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