Web accessibility for developers

Developers who understand accessibility, and are able to create accessible web applications and websites, are in high demand in a world where access to information for people with disabilities has become a legal requirement.
What’s it about?

The focus of this course is on developing expertise using WAI-ARIA, the W3C specification for creating accessible web interactivity. Participants will create a collection of interactive widgets that are accessible to those using assistive technology, and will produce a reusable jQuery library that automates the application of WAI-ARIA. With emerging accessibility laws, these are essential skills for anyone developing for the web. 

What will I learn?

This course focuses on developing expertise using the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative's (WAI) Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) specifications to create interactive widgets and applications for the Web that are accessible by people using assistive technologies like screen readers. With the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) now the basis for accessibility regulations around the world, the use of WAI-ARIA in the development of interactivity for the Web, helps ensure compliance with these international web accessibility laws.

This course will cover the following topics:

  • Static vs Dynamic WAI-ARIA
  • Graceful Degradation vs Progressive Enhancement Development Methods
  • WAI-ARIA Roles, States, and Properties
  • WAI-ARIA Navigation
  • WAI-ARIA Live Regions
  • Standardized Keyboard Interaction Patterns
  • Basic Widgets (sliders, progress meters, tooltips)
  • Intermediate Widgets (auto-complete forms, modal dialogs, tab panels, accordions)
  • Advanced Widgets (carousels, drag and drop, list reorderers)
What’s involved?

Participants are first provided with background information on disability, accessibility barriers, and international accessibility standards,  developing a general understanding of web accessibility and why it is needed.

The focus then moves to coding accessibility into a collection of common widgets. Participants copy the course activity files to their GitHub account, setup a local development environment around the files,  then apply the recommended WAI-ARIA and keyboard functionality to improve the accessibility of the ten widgets provided. Implementations are tested with a screen reader, and validated using common accessibility checkers.

Upon completing the course, the widget JavaScript code in assembled in a jQuery library that can be reused to simplify the implementation of WAI-ARIA and keyboard functionality for interactive elements on the Web.


This course requires a working understanding of HTML and JavaScript. Participants do not necessarily need to be programmers, but should be able to read HTML markup and JavaScript code, and understand what it is doing.


Current Start learning

Course Code: WACC301
Available: 6 December 2019
Duration: 4 Weeks,5 hours per week
Type: Micro course

Course Credit: Professional development course without credit
Credential: None
Level: 3rd year Bachelor’s

Who are the developers:
Greg Gay, Is the IT Accessibility Specialist at Ryerson University, The Chang School. He is a certified digital accessibility professional (CPACC, WAS, CPWA).Areas of expertise Read More

This course is also offered by The Chang School as a moderated, expert led professional development course. For those who prefer more structured, responsive instruction, you can learn more about CKCS126 Web Accessibility for Developers, and register, through The Chang School website.