Code Like You Give a Damn: Custom Interfaces with HTML5, JavaScript & ARIA

Léonie Watson (The Paciello Group (TPG))
3:00pm–3:30pm Wednesday, 04/22/2015
Interface and experience design
Location: Salon 8
Average rating: ****.
(4.33, 6 ratings)
Slides:   external link


Rocket science is difficult, brain surgery is really difficult. To most people developing technology is insanely difficult, but you’ve already mastered the hard part. Creating interfaces that are usable by everyone is much easier than you think.

In this talk Léonie Watson will look at the importance of the browser in the web accessibility stack, and the way ARIA can manipulate the information exposed by the browser’s accessibility API. With help from a cast of screen readers, Léonie will demonstrate how to create custom controls and widgets with HTML5, JavaScript and ARIA, and explore the possibility space of Web Components.

When it comes to creating interfaces that can be used by everyone, there is no magic ingredient and no “magic sauce”. The trick is just to let your imagination fly and code like you give a damn!


Knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript.

Photo of Léonie Watson

Léonie Watson

The Paciello Group (TPG)

Léonie Watson began using the internet in 1993, turned it into a web design career in 1997, and (despite losing her eyesight along the way) has been enjoying herself thoroughly ever since.

After many years as Director of Accessibility at Nomensa, Léonie is now a Senior Accessibility Engineer with The Paciello Group (TPG) and owner of LJ Watson Consulting.

Amongst other things she is also a director of the British Computer Association of the Blind (BCAB), writes for .Net magazine and, is a member of the W3C HTML and SVG working groups and the HTML Accessibility Task Force. She even appears every now and then on TV and radio to talk about technology.

In her spare time Léonie blogs on, talks on the AccessTalk podcast, and loves cooking, dancing and drinking tequila (although not necessarily in that order).

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Picture of Léonie Watson
Léonie Watson
04/24/2015 3:16am PDT

Thanks Frederic. The slides are available as PPT (with audio embedded) or PDF, from here:

Frederic Welterlin
04/22/2015 12:22pm PDT

Interesting ideas… can we get a copy of the deck please?