Google Wave is the latest innovation in online communication. It’s caused a great deal of interest across the industry, and may well herald a new era in online social interaction. It’s new, it’s cutting edge and it’s exciting. It’s also a catastrophic accessibility failure for screen reader users.
Rich Internet Application (RIA) websites encourage people to generate content, collaborate online and make choices about the information they receive. Unsurprisingly, RIA websites can represent a considerable challenge for screen reader users. The WAI‘s Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA)is an emerging standard that aims to bridge the gap between RIA websites and screen reading technology.
Bruce Lawson recently asked whether adding rel=accessibility to the HTMl 5 specification was a good idea. Among the initial comments, Jared Smith noted that getting assistive technologies to support the idea might be a problem. For the major screen readers at least, I thought it could be easily solved though.