HTML5 Accessibility – September 2012

Posted on Monday, 10 September 2012 by Steve Faulkner

HTML5Accessibility.com has been updated to reflect HTML5 accessibility support in the latest browser versions.

FireFox and Safari still lead the pack

I have completed another round of testing of HTML5 accessibility support in browsers on Mac and Windows. FireFox on Windows and Safari on Mac OSX still have continue to hold very solid leads on the other browsers tested. Chrome and Internet Explorer on Windows have made improvements in their support in the latest version, but are still under 50%:

Internet Explorer suffers and Chrome lags

Internet Explorer suffers because it does not implement any accessibility semantics for structural elements such as article and aside. It’s a mystery why the default implict ARIA semantics are not being conveyed via UI autumation in IE10 for elements that have no native UI automation roles? Its accessibility implementation of new HTML5 controls and audio and video elements meanwhile, is very good! Refer to Notes on HTML5 accessibility support in IE 10 for more details.

FireFox has caught up with IE in terms of canvas accessibility support. Chrome has started to implement canvas element sub-DOM accessibility support, but its limited to keyboard operability at this time, no semantics of the sub-DOM are exposed. Chrome’s mainstream HTML5 implementation continues to outstrip its accessibility support implementation on both Mac and Windows, it appears that Google are not committing enough resources to implementing accessibility in chrome…

Support information for Opera on Windows and Mac and Safari on Windows is not be updated as there appears to be no active effort to implement accessibility in these browsers.


About Steve Faulkner

Steven 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

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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