Brazos UI Toolkit: March Release is Live with Accessibility Improvements

Scott Francis
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Brazos

The latest version of Brazos UI Toolkit includes months of improvements and hard work.  The results speak for themselves: check out the current version release notes.  If you have any trouble reaching that page, and you’ve registered, just re-register and you should be automatically updated.

On an administrative note, we have synchronized version numbers of the Examples App and the Toolkit itself to make it easier to stay in synch.

The highlight of this release is ADA compliance.  Accessibility and ADA compliance are major topics for government agencies and large or multi-national employers.  With this release, Brazos provides a broad foundation of support for your accessibility efforts.  In a subsequent release we plan to enhance accessibility support even further.  From David Bailie’s notes on the release:

The major theme for this release is accessibility. The Brazos UI now provides full WCAG 2.0 Level A conformance with most controls providing Level AA conformance. Key enhancements include additions to ensure proper interactions with assistive technologies such as screen readers, improvements to keyboard navigation, and additional configuration fields to aid in accessibility for text alternatives and document structure. You will also find over 30 bug fixes addressing issues reported by customers as well as issues found in our QA testing.

Please note that just because you upgrade to the new accessible Brazos controls your coaches may not meet accessibility guidelines. The additional configuration fields/options need to be added, and other accessibility guidelines such as navigation and readability must be followed by coach authors to ensure conformance.

From the release notes:

  • [Improvement] – Added accessibility features so Brazos UI now follows the WCAG 2.0 Guidelines, helping to achieve the A level and partially the AA level conformance
    • [Improvement] [WCAG] – Labels where associated to all controls when possible, otherwise a span was associated with the control leveraging the aria-labelledby to provide the connection.
    • [Improvement] [WCAG] – Roles, States and behavior was added to the Coach Views.
    • [Improvement] [WCAG] – HTML reviewed to follow the guidelines.
    • [Improvement] [WCAG] [Button] [Input String] [Input Decimal] [Input Integer] – Extra field was added, only accessible to assistive technologies, to describe in more detail the icons added.
    • [Improvement] [WCAG] – All elements that accept user interaction are now also focusable trough the keyboard.
    • [Improvement] [WCAG] – When an element is focused it is now perceivable.
    • [Improvement] [WCAG] – All actions are now also accessible only using the keyboard.
    • [Improvement] [WCAG] [Table] [Text Area] [Data Table] [Section] [Tabs] – No keyboard traps are present. It’s now possible to skip the elements contents by pressing the esc key.
    • [Improvement] [WCAG] [Tabs] [Data Table] – Keyboard navigation is now possible and it was improved to leverage the directional keys. (This is activated on Data table trough the Advanced configuration options.)
    • [Improvement] [WCAG] [Modal] – Keyboard trapped on the modal when it’s opened. Interaction is automatically focused on the beginning of the modal when opened and on the trigger when closed.
    • [Improvement] [WCAG] – Errors also now perceivable to assistive technologies by leveraging aria techniques (e.g. alert, states).
    • [Improvement] [WCAG] – Error messages are now visible while the control that contains the error is in focus.
    • [Improvement] [WCAG] [Section]- You can now define a heading level on the label of the section. This helps you to provide document structure.
    • [Improvement] [WCAG] [Data Table]- Position of the pagination control can be defined to be on top or below the Data table itself.

More on this release in another post…