When you use semantic HTML, the browser handles a lot of things for you. It takes a subset of the DOM and creates an accessibility tree that can be queried using platform-accessibility APIs. It also provides keyboard and touch interaction when you need it.
Understanding accessibility mechanics is an important part of good interface design. Léonie Watson provides a developer’s guide to accessibility mechanics, explaining the relationship between code, the browser, and assistive technologies and demonstrating how to create accessible custom widgets with
Léonie began using the internet in 1993, turned it into a web design career in 1997, and (despite losing her eyesight along the way) has been enjoying herself thoroughly ever since.
Léonie is a Senior Accessibility Engineer with The Paciello Group (TPG) and owner of LJWatson Consulting. Amongst other things she is co-chair of the W3C Web Platform Working Group, and a member of the ARIA and SVG working groups.
In her spare time Léonie blogs on
tink.uk, writes for Smashing magazine, SitePoint.com and Net magazine. She also loves cooking, dancing and drinking tequila (although not necessarily in that order).