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Reach a broader audience with new accessibility features (8.6)

Updated on February 16, 2022

Address the needs of users with disabilities by building an application that supports assistive technologies and solutions, such as screen readers and full keyboard navigation. While important for compliance and essential access, inclusive design also helps you expand your user base by involving people with visual impairments.

Take advantage of default settings

Pega strives to continuously integrate the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) standards into the architecture of Pega Infinity™ applications. As part of this effort, starting with Pega Platform™ version 8.6, UI components use accessible mark-up by default, with no additional configuration required. This means that application developers no longer need to install the PegaWAI ruleset or enable accessibility in the access group settings. Furthermore, accessible features, such as helper text, now use appropriate ARIA attributes automatically.

Field configuration with helper text setting.
Sample field configuration that includes out-of-the-box accessibility tools compliant with WAI guidelines.

Use updated layouts

Tables, layout groups, and repeating dynamic layouts now follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) for navigation and ARIA roles. For example, you can now navigate the accordion layout group with arrow keys, or skip to the first or last tab with the home and end keys. In addition, the updated markup helps screen readers identify labels and announce the accordion's expanded or collapsed state. This enhancement brings the layout components in Pega Platform applications up to industry standards and makes navigation more intuitive for users with disabilities.

Label settings in the layout.
Screen readers source labels from accessibility settings.

Explore other accessibility enhancements

Pega Platform version 8.6 also introduces a number of smaller improvements, for instance to error message handling. Form elements that display errors are now easier to navigate, which means that users can correct data with less effort. 

Error display pattern showing banners and error icons in headers.
Forms show errors in an alert box, which improves recognition and navigation.

For modal dialogs, overlays, and pop-up windows, applications now use the recommended ARIA roles by default to improve cooperation with assistive technology. Lastly, with the PegaWAI ruleset retired, the screen layout now shows skip links by default, which helps users who rely on screen readers to bypass irrelevant content and navigate to the most important parts of the application.

Portal with skip link navigation.
Skip links help users reach the most important parts of the interface first.


For more information, see the following articles:

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