James—great quotes, and a great piece by Jared. Here are a few responses:
bq. Developers will continue to innovate with or without accessibility. Because not building it is not an option and because some things cannot be made accessible without ARIA, developers are left with two options — build it potentially accessible with ARIA or build it perpetually inaccessible without ARIA.
I don’t think this is quite accurate—there are two options only for those things that simply cannot be made accessible without ARIA. But what about things that *can* be made accessible without ARIA? We have two different options then:
# build it to be accessible without ARIA for when ARIA isn’t supported
# build it with additional ARIA support so that it really sings when ARIA is supported
bq. By suggesting that full ARIA support and fallbacks are required, we are encouraging that these apps remain inaccessible into perpetuity.
Again, only for those certain things that absolutely _require_ ARIA to be accessible at all. And even then having fallbacks that provide some, but imperfect, accessibility is better than not. What I really want is that people think carefully about non-ARIA scenarios.
bq. the result of asking web developers to hold off on innovating until ARIA support improves is that developers will instead innovate anyways without ARIA support at all. The result is much worse accessibility.
bq. If we focus on supporting ARIA as it is now, support will largely remain how it is now. We should instead advocate that developers build things following standards, increase our pressure on browser and assistive technology vendors to increase their support, and help users understand the increased accessibility they can experience by using standards-compliant web browsers and assistive technology. The future of ARIA is bright, but only if we make it so.
Absolutely. We must push. Make it better. I’m not saying that you or Jared are suggesting this, but I’m not prepared to throw away non-ARIA solutions any time soon. Are you? Should others be?