Here at Telerik accessibility support has always been important. We strive to ensure that when you are developing an application with our ASP.NET AJAX controls you can rest easy knowing that they provide compliance with some of the highest standards in the industry. Ease-of-mind and ease-of-implementation, does it get any better? :) Let’s take a look at just how we are making your applications more accessible.

Accessibility Guidelines

For a while now Telerik’s ASP.NET AJAX controls have been in compliance with the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0/2.0 (say that a few times fast!). These guidelines set standards for applications providing accessible content by providing three levels of accessibility conformance: A, AA, and AAA. The more A’s the better. There is a full breakdown of every AJAX control on our accessibility support page. As that page shows, many of our controls have an AAA or AA rating, with the absolute minimum being an A rating, so all of the controls are fully compliant.

Another set of guidelines that we follow is Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which is mainly used by Federal Agencies. According to law they have to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. As can be seen on the same accessibility support page as mentioned above we can see that all of our controls comply with Section 508 as well.


Taking a look at the last couple of releases we see that the term "WAI-ARIA support" appears under several of our controls. What exactly does this mean? Well, WAI-ARIA is a set of standards that specifically help create accessible applications with the more advanced user experiences that exist today. This is especially helpful with controls such as the Telerik ones which are developed with Ajax, HTML, and JavaScript. With WAI-ARIA support the HTML that is generated from the control is slightly different, so by default this is turned off. However, all you have to do is set EnableAriaSupport=”true” in applicable controls and you are on your way to having the accessible application on your dreams! For a more detailed look at just how the output changes you can read over this blog post which compares a RadGrid with and without WAI-ARIA support enabled.

One Editor to Rule Them All

A special note that I also want to make when speaking on the topic of accessibility is the RadEditor for ASP.NET AJAX. This control went through rigorous tests and enhancements to become the first accessible web-based text editor. The Royal National Institute of Blind People chose the RadEditor when they made their new accessible website, which attests to the high emphasis on accessibility for the RadEditor.


The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, or VPAT, is a form which helps assist Federal contracting officials (as well as others of course) in making an initial assessment of the accessibility of electronic and IT products, such as the Telerik ASP.NET AJAX controls. To make your lives easier (something we always try to do!) Telerik has gone through and created a VPAT form specifically for the RadControls for ASP.NET AJAX. You can find the file right here, and going through the PDF we can see a very detailed summary of exactly what is applicable to the controls and just how we support those criteria.

Accessibility Galore

So that just about covers accessibility with the Telerik ASP.NET AJAX controls. As you can see we believe that this is a very important aspect of our controls, and with each release we are updating our controls to ensure that they follow the industry standards. This enables you, as a developer, to create not only fantastic and powerful user experiences, but you can deliver the same content to people with disabilities without having to change anything within the controls!

About the Author

Carl Bergenhem

is an Enterprise Solutions Consultant at Telerik specializing in the ASP.NET AJAX and ASP.NET MVC products. He has always been interested in web development and has played around with various web technologies since he was a kid. In his free time Carl enjoys soccer, running and playing his guitar.


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