How to Ensure Accessibility: Semantic HTML vs ARIA Roles

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What exactly is Semantic HTML and ARIA roles? How do they differ? Moreover, how can one ensure better accessibility using these two elements? These considerations represent critical aspects of web development, particularly when it comes to ensuring accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

Web accessibility remains a significant challenge over the years, with countless websites still inaccessible to many users, including those with disabilities. The World Health Organization (1) estimates that over a billion people worldwide have some form of disability. These individuals often face numerous barriers when interacting with web content, as confirmed by a study published by Elsevier (2). Hence, it is clear that there’s a need for a more user-friendly web environment that guarantees seamless interaction for all, irrespective of physical or cognitive capabilities.

In this article, you will learn about the role of Semantic HTML and ARIA roles in enhancing web accessibility. You will get to understand their functions, the differences, and how to effectively apply these elements in your web development process. The piece will explore practical examples and provide hands-on tips that can be useful to both novice and veteran web developers.

The ultimate goal of this piece is to bridge the gap between web accessibility and disabled users, making the Internet a more inclusive space for everyone. So, stay tuned and let’s unravel the mysteries behind Semantic HTML and ARIA roles.

How to Ensure Accessibility: Semantic HTML vs ARIA Roles

Understanding Essential Definitions: Semantic HTML and ARIA Roles

Semantic HTML: This term refers to the use of HTML language to not only present content on the web but convey its meaning or purpose. By using specific HTML tags, like <header>, <footer>, <article>, we provide information about the structure and meaning of content.

ARIA Roles: ARIA stands for Accessible Rich Internet Applications. It’s a tech specification from the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) enabling web content and apps to be more accessible for people with disabilities. ‘Roles’ in ARIA help assistive technologies, like screen readers, understand what each element does, allowing them to communicate this information to users effectively.

Unlocking Web Experience: Deciphering Semantic HTML for Enhanced Accessibility

Delving into Semantic HTML

Semantic HTML helps to structure the content on the site properly; it uses HTML markup to reinforce the semantics, or meaning, of the content of web pages rather than merely to define its presentation or look. Semantic HTML elements include