Ensuring Accessibility Support in HTML5

HTML5 was announced as a W3C Last Call Working Draft on 25 May 2011. The W3C press release invites broad review to determine to what extent HTML5 has met its technical requirements and dependencies. The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) encourages your comments and participation.

HTML5 is the next revision in the core markup language of the Web, and offers powerful tools for creating Web-based applications that will run on any device. It is imperative that HTML5 meet the needs of all Web users, including those with disabilities.

Information on Accessibility Gaps

HTML5 includes new features, such as media and Canvas, for which WAI is working to ensure comprehensive accessibility support. WAI is also working to address current gaps in support for other accessibility requirements. Accessibility features missing at the time of the last call publication are listed within the status section of the HTML5 draft. Updated details on the status of gaps in accessibility support are available on the HTML Accessibility Task Force Wiki.

Coordination with the Accessibility Task Force

WAI has been working with the HTML Working Group through the Joint HTML and PFWG Accessibility Task Force (A11Y TF). Task Force Sub-Groups in the areas of text alternatives, Canvas, media, and WAI-ARIA will continue their work on accessibility feature support. The Task Force will closely monitor the processing of accessibility issues during the Last Call period. We encourage people to coordinate with the Task Force on improving accessibility support in HTML5. Comments describing unmet use cases, as well as technical details, are particularly useful.

Comments welcome through 3 August 2011

W3C has made it clear that HTML5 must meet W3C’s commitment to accessibility. Your comments can help clarify what is needed to ensure that HTML5 provides support for accessibility.

2 thoughts on “Ensuring Accessibility Support in HTML5

  1. I am concerned about the way the Article element is used in examples. Doesn’t it make sense that Screen Readers will want to use the article element to skip over the HEADER and NAV elements to the main content. Instead of this:

    Why not save the article element for pure content like this:

    I know WAI-ARIA can do landmarks to find main content… but should there not be a native way in HTML 5 to do this easily, why not article? Let’s save for the content of the article, not all the chrome, nav, headers and footers too.

    Also I agree with those who want to drop the HRgroup element… it might be confusing for Screen readers to miss a lower heading because only the highest level of the HRgroup is exposed.

    I don’t only want to see this Heading

    But I want to see this heading too

  2. I’m concerned there doesn’t seem to be an elegant simple way to provide closed captions for the tag in HTML5.

    YouTube does this quite well(albiet in another technology), just upload the SMIL or whatever captioning text file and link it to the video.

    I think there needs to be a simle way to do this in HTML5 something like this:

    The captions file would have the timing in a standard format.

    I’m on the WCAG 2 committee and we made our requirement for captioning 1.2.2 with the idea that Cpation technology was going to become simple to implement… right now it’s too hard in HTML 5

Comments are closed.