Technica11y November 2018 Edition: Gerard Cohen and Custom Selects

Please join us on Wednesday, November 7, at 11am Eastern for the second in the new webinar series devoted to the technical challenges in making the web accessible, technica11y!  Our presenter will be Gerard Cohen, Lead Accessibility Strategist for Wells Fargo Digital Solutions for Business and the topic will be custom selects.

That’s right: custom selects.  Just like carousels, creating a custom select widget is one of a few cardinal sins in accessibility.  The general guidance is, “DONT DO IT! Just use a native select, since accessibility is already built in.”  This is mostly good advice, if all you need is to provide an exclusive selection out of a list of options in a compact way, native select is definitely the way to go. But what if that is not enough?

In this presentation, Gerard will lead you down his path of engineering a custom select and discuss the reasons it was necessary.  Starting with the official ARIA pattern and native select on various platforms, he’ll demonstrate the practical reasons for deviation, the pitfalls he ran into, and ultimately the a working demo of an accessible and usable custom select widget that works on desktop and mobile.

The ultimate goal of this presentation is to breakdown the myths of custom selects, provide some tips from his experience, and hopefully create, or inspire, a reusable solution that everyone can use.

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