Open letter to Opera re: Accessibility Support
The latest Opera browser has been released; Opera 12. In many ways Opera is a great browser and Opera 12 includes lots of shiny new stuff, but still no support for assistive technology (AT) users. Opera excels in implementing HTML5 support for some users, but others are left behind. Here are some suggestions on how this could change:
First thing is Opera needs to decide if you want to commit to making your products accessible to assistive technology (AT) users and if so what products and on what platforms.
Dedicated Resources and Strategy
If you decide you want to support AT users then you need to dedicate resources to it, it is suggested that it will be a waste of time unless you commit to having a permanent team who’s responsibility it is to implement, maintain and liaise with other opera engineers etc on accessibility. In other words you need an accessibility strategy.
If you decided to implement accessibility support, for example on the Windows platform, it is suggested you would need to implement:
- Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA)
- IAccessible2 (IA2)
- Expose MS COM interfaces ISimpleDOM to provide access to the DOM tree.
Implement the Role, State, Events and Property mappings as per:
- WAI-ARIA 1.0 User Agent Implementation Guide
- HTML to Platform Accessibility APIs Implementation Guide
Probably the easiest thing to do on this score is look at Mozilla’s implementation (all the source code is there) and talk to the Mozilla accessibility engineers.