Videos of screen readers using ARIA
Recordings of screen readers using widgets with and without WAI-ARIA can be a good educational resource for why ARIA is important to accessibility. There aren’t many out there, but here’s what I found.
Note: This article is out of date. The new post “Videos of screen readers using ARIA, updated” contains all the original content that is still relevant plus new content that’s arisen since this piece was written.
I’ve been doing a lot of investigation into WAI-ARIA for work recently, mainly revolving around educating other developers. I’ve found a lot of great demos of pages and widgets that use ARIA, but not too many videos of screen readers using said widgets. This is a shame, because it’s often hard to understand the impact of ARIA without hearing how a screen reader announces the content both without and with ARIA in place, and not many people have or know how to use screen readers. I can certainly show developers who are accessibility-newbies the ARIA demos, but their accessibility benefits aren’t that clear without a recording of a screen reader using them and their non-ARIA counterparts.
Nevertheless, I was able to find a few videos of screen readers using ARIA, and I wanted to share the links here. I’m willing to bet there are more out there—it’s just hard to find them, since simply searching for “aria” on YouTube will get you a bunch of videos of people singing opera, not screen readers! So if you know of others, please let us know in the comments.
This first video is the best, as it shows a page without and then with ARIA live regions enabled, as well as the difference between polite and rude notifications.
YUI has ARIA versions of several of their widgets, and each has a video of a screen reader using it:
- YUI 3 Beta 1 ARIA Menu Button
- YUI 3 Beta 1 ARIA Tabview
- YUI 3 Beta 1 ARIA Toolbar
- ARIA-enabled Alert dialog
- Example Page Using YUI Grids And ARIA Landmark Roles
- Menu Button Using The “activedescendant” Property
- Screen reader accessible Menu Button
- Menu Button Using Roaming TabIndex Technique
- YUI MenuNav Node Plugin using ARIA
- Using the Carousel ARIA Plugin
- Using the Menu ARIA Plugin
- Using the Container ARIA Plugin
- Using the Button ARIA Plugin
Unfortunately none of the YUI videos demonstrate what the user would hear were it not for the addition of ARIA, but they’re interesting nonetheless.
A couple comments pointed me to some additional videos of screen readers using ARIA.
Aaron Gustafson also has a video of his great TabInterface widget being read by NVDA.