Pro HTML5 Accessibility – review

Posted on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 by Steve Faulkner

A new book Pro HTML5 Accessibility by  Joshue O’connor.


The book is a valiant attempt at covering a voluminous, complex and fast changing subject area. The chapters I  liked (my area of interest) were those that make good primers to understanding AT and accessibility APIs:

  • Chapter 2: Understanding Disability and Assistive Technology
  • Chapter 4 API and DOM

I also appreciated the overview Chapter 9:  HTML5, Usability and User-Centered Design, a subject area which is one of Joshue’s strong suits.


The static format of the printed book (and unfortunately the PDF copy links were not linked) does not lend itself to ease of access to the many valuable links to resources that are liberally sprinkled throughout the book. Chapters 11: WCAG 2.0 Client-Side Scripting Techniques and 12: Definition of WAI-ARIA Roles is information available online, and subject to change over time and therefore more appropriately accessed online.


Solid information on a complex subject area. If you buy it, get an ebook version to more easily access the feast of  pointers to online resources.

About Steve Faulkner

Steve is the Senior Web Accessibility Consultant and Technical Director, TPG Europe. He joined The Paciello Group in 2006 and was previously a Senior Web Accessibility Consultant at Vision Australia. He is the creator and lead developer of the Web Accessibility Toolbar accessibility testing tool. Steve is a member of several groups, including the W3C HTML Working Group and the W3C Protocols and Formats Working Group. He is an editor of several specifications at the W3C including HTML 5.1, Using WAI-ARIA in HTML and HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text alternatives. He also develops and maintains HTML5accessibility


  1. Got the book a couple months ago. I really like and recommend it (I only got the e-book version though).

    It and WCAG 2.0 Made Easy are the only books I’ve found that could be considered “current enough” to deal with 21st accessibility guidelines. It’s the only one I’ve found that covers other current topics (HTML5, Semantic HTML, some Mobile, WAI-ARIA, NVDA, Voice Over).

    Most of my library (and “comprehensive” online references) is terribly outdated (WCAG 1.0, Netscape 4) and overdue for new editions. Is everybody waiting for the new Sect. 508 before publishing?

    I also found chapter 4 very helpful. It was the first book to get into those details and, as the author suggested, useful in understanding how AT actually works.

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Sometimes people ask me where to go for help making their web sites accessible and TPG is always the first thing on my mind because people like Steve Faulkner are right there at the forefront of pushing web accessibility forward. They totally 'get' that to be truly effective in this area you need to understand the whole accessibility ecosystem from assistive technology, to accessible applications, to web standards and so on… this kind of expertise is rare.

David Bolter, Engineering Manager Accessibility - Mozilla