Chris Ashton

week11y issue 34

Here’s your weekly a11y news:

A Complete Guide to Links and Buttons

  • An excellent resource by CSS-Tricks. I learned that the download attribute on links instructs the browser to download the resource; that links can have a rel attribute that define the relationship to the target (e.g. rel="author"); that you can chain link styles (a:focus:hover {}); and that if you wrap a lot of content inside a single <a> tag, the entire contents are read to the screen reader before it announces that it is a link (so don’t do it!).

Meaning without markup: Accessibility Object Model

  • Hidde de Vries writes about the Accessibility Object Model proposal for JavaScript, which allows devs to hook into the accessibility tree (like Service Workers are able to hook into the network). It should make code easier to test, and HTML less verbose, since you would operate on the element directly, e.g. el.ariaExpanded = true. This can make canvas-based applications more accessible too, without having to maintain DOM node equivalents that are only for your screen reader users.

iOS 14 is filled with accessibility improvements

Blindness cure in sight

  • Macular degeneration is a common eye disease affecting 200 million people worldwide. It can lead to complete blindness. Scientists are working on a new treatment utilising gene therapy and near-infrared light. Early tests on human retinas show that ‘near-infrared light exposures reactivate the human retina’s visual circuitry’.

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