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Learn to make your JavaScript accessible

'You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!' were the immortal words from Charlie Crocker (aka Michael Caine) in The Italian Job. They also form the title of web accessibility engineer Léonie Watson's upcoming talk at Generate London. But what do they have to do with JavaScript? More than you might think...

It is often said that JavaScript makes things inaccessible with a screen reader. This is not true, though. It is possible to do good and bad things with JavaScript (as with any other language – and, indeed, as with dynamite). But it helps if you understand accessibility mechanics in the browser if you want to avoid unexpected consequences (like rendering creations inaccessible – or blowing the whole vehicle up).

If you have ever used JavaScript to provide keyboard shortcuts, or used the ARIA application role to enable accessible software UI interactions on the web, there is a good chance it had unintended consequences for screen reader users.

When Watson, accessibility engineer at The Paciello Group, speaks at Generate London next week, she will be using code examples and screen reader demos.  She will take a look at accessibility mechanics in the browser, the new Accessibility Object Model (AOM) JavaScript API, and how to use JavaScript so that you only blow the doors off.

Make sure you grab your Generate ticket now before they sell out!

Steve is the editor of Web Designer magazine.