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Canvas Network

Web Accessibility for Developers

Ryerson University and Chang School of Continuing Education via Canvas Network

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Full course description   DESCRIPTION

With the introduction of the WAI-ARIA (Web Accessibility Initiative - Accessible Rich Internet Applications) Specification, developers can be much more creative when developing interactive elements for the Web than was previously possible. When WAI-ARIA is used with accessible Javascript, the sky's the limit when it comes to potential interactions on the web, interactions that are also possible for people with disabilities using assistive technology.

This course is intended for Web Developers who want to develop highly sought-after skills, using WAI-ARIA to create accessible interactivity for the Web. You'll build accessible widgets, applications, navigation menus, and other interactive elements that can be used by everyone, and you will leave the course with a WAI-ARIA library you can continue to use beyond the course.


The course is made up of 4 week long modules. The first two modules focus on providing the necessary background on WAI-ARIA, an introduction to static uses for WAI-ARIA, and developing experience testing accessibility with a screen reader. Part of module 2, and modules 3 and 4 are hands-on, writing accessible code.

Participants should be prepared to spend four to six hours per week to maximize their learning experience in the course. There are 14 activities that count toward the final mark.

Participants who complete all 14 course activities, and earn a grade of 65% or better, receive a digital badge that can be shared through social media.


At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Test web interactivity with a screen reader to ensure accessibility
  • Identify the differences between static and dynamic WAI-ARIA
  • Describe both graceful degradation and progressive enhancement development methods
  • State when and when not to use WAI-ARIA
  • Explain the limitations of WAI-ARIA
  • Apply WAI-ARIA landmarks and live regions to web content
  • Create accessible progress bars, suggestion boxes, and tooltips with WAI-ARIA
  • Build accessible sliders, accordions, tab panels, and carousels with WAI-ARIA
  • Implement effective design patterns for accessible menu bars, tree menus, and sortable lists with WAI-ARIA


  • Comfort developing with JavaScript
  • Comfort developing with HTML5 and CSS
  • A GitHub account, or a webserver to post activity submissions
  • A local development environment
  • Some knowledge of WCAG 2.0 will be helpful

Target Audience: Web developers.


4.2 rating, based on 12 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Web Accessibility for Developers

  • Anonymous
    I was slightly intimidated by the course at first but after moving past Module 4 I was able to really see how things worked.
    I felt the course content was complex enough for advanced assistive technology developers yet easy enough to understand by relative novices by using the example docs. Honestly, what more could one ask for in a large course?
    It is important users be able to understand jQuery.
  • Omar Rahman
    This is good course for understanding the fundamentals of web accessibility from a developer's perspective. I like the focus this course puts on interactive elements, as opposed to static markup. Moreover, building web components while testing them with a screen-reader at every step of the way has given a knew appreciation for the whats, whys, and hows of web accessibility and WAI-ARIA.
  • Paul Matthews
    If you develop websites, and you're committed to making them accessible, this is an invaluable course that not only teaches you how ARIA helps with accessibility but gives you a library of working tools to use when you finish. I highly recommend this course.
  • Anonymous
    I have learned a lot in this class about Wai-ARI. The discussion board was very interesting and pro active, I read a lot of interesting post about some topics. The course was very well organized and that help me to learn from the basic to the more complex exercises
  • Anonymous
    It is a great hands-on course for those who are familiar with HTML and javascript and looking to improve their accessibility skills. Static and Dynamic WAI-ARIA elements will definitely help to make your websites wore accessible.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent guidance from the instructors. It was very helpful and easy going. Provided full support for making things accessible. Do not have a coding background but still was able to learn how to make things accessible using javascript.
  • Anonymous
    Very well organized training. Reviews were done quicker than expected. Code help available all along the training. Great course to attend
  • Anonymous
    This is an amazing course! A wake up call for all web developers. It is unbelievable that a course of this quality is offered for free!
  • Anonymous
    Instructors were not prepared for the number of students enrolled.
    Much of the course materials were missing important information, and what was included had multiple errors spread across multiple modules.
    One of the instructors wasn't familiar with, or didn't understand, the basic description of the course itself.
    While much of the course "conceptual" information was valuable (hence 2 stars over 1), you could gain the same insight via a simple Google search on "accessibility tutorials".

    I'd sum up the overall experience by saying, I'm glad it was a free course.
  • Anonymous
    The day everything is due the professor writes this:
    "Some of you may be experiencing problems with GitHub Pages not building, so your activity submissions are not showing up. To get around this issue, submit URLs to your activity submissions using "

    Can we get the course material in final, correct format before the course begins as opposed to updates to the core throughout?
  • Anonymous
    The course offered a lot of new insight and valuable information on accessibility to me. The assignments showcased original and well thought out solutions to general accessibility problems and we were given plenty of sources to read upon if we were interested in more. Generally, the course was exceptionally well organized, well thought out and the help we received in the forums was invaluable.
  • Gordon Potter
    Professors are not very responsive.
    I finished the class and ended up with a B so far (although the professor has not finished grading). However that made me "ineligible" for the badge.
    My advice. Read your students code. Maybe its just a misplaced ; which would merit 2 points off instead of docking the student 100% for an assignment.

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