One of the major goals for our AJAX RadEditor control is to provide an accessible content creation experience. For us, this task is divided into two major categories - having an accessible editor UI and helping the end user produce accessible content. With the Q3 2010 release, we made improvements to both and I want to share the results with you.
The first major improvement is the new AccessibleRadEditor control. It is a stripped down version of the full featured RadEditor and has a simpler toolbar to allow easy navigation using only the keyboard. All tools have assigned shortcuts and even the available dialogs (insert link, insert image) are heavily modified to remove some of their eye candy and allow for a blind or partially sighted person to operate them. The AccessibleRadEditor inherits from the normal RadEditor control, which means that you can apply your normal editor customizations directly to it as well.
The second major improvement is the new Compliance Check dialog in RadEditor. This dialog allows you to submit the RadEditor content to a web service and check its accessibility. The service is provided by HiSoftware and leverages their Compliance Sheriff product. In order to use it, you will need to register on HiSoftware's web site and obtain an API key for their service. Alternatively, if you already are a Compliance Sheriff user, you can connect to your locally deployed instance instead of the main HiSoftware service. To read more about the dialog and how you can use it, you can read the following article from our documentation - Compliance Check Dialog.
We have updated our documentation and added a section about creating accessible content. The content creators can use it to learn how to properly insert accessible links, images, tables, and other elements.
A live demo of the features I talked about in this post is available on our site (including the Compliance Sheriff check dialog) at http://demos.telerik.com/aspnet-ajax/editor/examples/accessibleeditor/defaultcs.aspx
The dialog can be tested on our SharePoint 2010 demo site as well.
Let us know what you think about the new RadEditor for ASP.NET AJAX accessibility features and what more you would like to see with regards to producing accessible html content for your web sites.
Iana Tsolova is Product Manager at Telerik’s DevTools division. She joined the company back in the beginning of 2008 as a Support Officer and has since occupied various positions at Telerik, including Senior Support Officer, Team Lead at one of the ASP.NET AJAX teams and Technical Support Director. Iana’s main interests are web development, reading articles related to geography, wild nature and latest renewable energy technologies.
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