File Under: HTML5, Web Standards

Video: How ARIA’s Landmark Roles Work

We’ve written a lot about how you can make your website more accessible with WAI ARIA roles, particularly ARIA’s Landmark roles. As a bonus you can also use the roles to style elements.

Hopefully you’re using ARIA roles given that they’re such a simple, easy win with pretty much no downside, but have you ever wondered exactly how ARIA roles help people using assistive devices? In the video above accessibility consultant Leonie Watson gives a quick demo of exactly how screen readers benefit from landmark roles.

If you’re sold be sure to read up on our earlier coverage, including this post on how to add landmark roles to your site. The site Watson mentions in the video is also a great ARIA resource. Also have a look at accessibility guru Steve Faulkner’s recent post over on the The Paciello Group blog.

And note that, as Faulkner writes, “over time the necessity of explicitly assigning landmarks will lessen as browsers build in ARIA landmark roles to newer HTML element semantics.” For now though, even if you’re already using the new elements, it doesn’t hurt to add the roles as well.