Inaccessibility Experts (27th January 2011)

As reported in detail by HTML5, ARIA Roles, and Screen Readers in May 2010, using ARIA makes your site less accessible in current real-world assistive technologies. This is after, what, over half a decade of ARIA fanboys exclaiming it “makes web pages more accessible” and is needed because “HTML5 will take too long”. Pfft…

If you visit Bruce’s site with Window-Eyes and IE8, none of the links in the header or the #sidebar nav are found since both of these HTML5 elements also have ARIA roles implemented.

But there is no problem with the links in the main content area, even though it has role="main since it just uses a regular div. If it used a section element instead, most of the links on the page would just disappear for Window-Eyes in IE8.

It’s worth noting that the reporting website is from an exemplar of accessibility in it’s own right. A few things I noticed:

Rather belatedly, ARIA fanboys have been testing the support of their dearly beloved. And they have found… pretty much nothing supports it. Big surprise. (Not.)

Sigh… if only me and Joe Clark and other people who can actually write HTML were influential. And funded.

Dear Internet, HTML is a good format. Please, use it and develop it more thoughtfully.