Jeremy Keith talks web accessibility and html5

I first learned of Jeremy Keith after being recommended his great first book back in 2005, which seems like last year, wow! how time flies by. Since then i have been a few of his live talks and read many of his blog posts and articles. Working for Clear Left ( lovely site) in Brighton he is is a front end developer who specialises in accessibility. Today i spent hour plus listening to a fantastic podcast and resource by WebAxe in which he was interviewed.

A few quotes and what i took away from the interview:

We dont mention accessibility with clients

Some may initially wonder about this but he is simply stating that it should be a given with any website. He explained it very well by comparing it to

The plumber asking if its ok to use that specific wrench on your sink when called out to repair a pipe.

Also some clients may not have heard about web accessibility and they should be trusting you to do a competent job while doing the right thing for their audience.

HTML5 is very backward compatible and with HTML4 it validates fine.

There are some tags that have been deprecated in HTML4 but in a practical way most modernly built XHTML1 or HTML4 with will pass the w3c test. There are also some new tags in HTML5 that can used such as the new input types.

Using a javascript library is something i do myself and it saves reinventing the wheel

After initially being a little hesitant using a library due their first load ( file size), we have been using Jquery for over 2 years and love it! Its great to hear someone so experienced as Jeremy using a library and now validating our choice for Jquery when we evaluated the different options such as Django, Prototype and Moo Tools.

I think of web accessibility of not destroying accessibility rather than creating it.

This is in referral to properly structured and semantic HTML being accessible, while Javascript can break that accessibility if not properly used and planned.

It was an hour very well spent and he was as informative as ever. I highly recommend you hear him talk in person if you get the chance. In the meantime listen to the Webaxe episode 75 podcast in which he is interviewed.