(Not so) Simple ARIA Tree Views and Screen Readers

I started testing a number of screen readers with different ARIA tree views. It turns out there’s a bit going on with screen readers and tree views, so the research got a little lengthy. It also turns out that there’s significant variability across screen readers in how they handle different ARIA tree views. I found no single way to build… Continue reading

ARIA Widgets and Focus/Forms Mode Support in JAWS and NVDA

When using ARIA composite application widgets, e.g., combobox, menubar, tree, authors are expected to implement appropriate keyboard interaction and focus management. Where screen readers that use virtual buffers are concerned, notably JAWS, NVDA, and Window-Eyes, this means invoking their special passthrough mode referred to as forms mode, focus mode, or sometimes application mode. VoiceOver on the Mac doesn’t use virtual… Continue reading

Screen Readers and details/summary

The HTML5 details and summary elements can be used to create a disclosure widget for showing and hiding content, something that typically has been done with JavaScript. For example, this type of interaction has often been used for things like FAQs: a list of questions is provided, but the answers hidden; clicking on any one of the questions toggles the… Continue reading

Videos of Screen Readers with Basic HTML5 and ARIA Landmarks

With the rapid development in certain user agents (take that, Firefox!), I’m a little late in getting these up, but I figure some of them are still useful to share. In any case, I posted to YouTube five videos of various screen readers interacting with basic HTML5 section elements and ARIA landmarks. These are videos I presented at the 2011… Continue reading

JAWS, IE and Headings in HTML5

If you use explicitly ranked h1 to h6 headings nested in HTML5 sectioning elements, as opposed to using exclusively h1 elements, JAWS 12.0.1170, as well as the JAWS 13.0.171 beta, will misrepresent the heading hierarchy. Headings in HTML5 The HTML5 outline algorithm allows us to use the h1 element for every heading on a page, and depending on the nesting… Continue reading

Responsive Data Tables and Screen Reader Accessibility

When Chris Coyier presented his approach to responsive data tables, I wondered about the implications for accessibility, particularly for screen readers. This was especially so since the approach involves replicating each of the table’s column headers as CSS-generated content for the relevant table cell, and presenting each data cell, together with this generated header text, as a block-level element. In… Continue reading

JAWS, Window-Eyes and display:none: Return to 2007

I was recently asked if JAWS and Window-Eyes still displayed the bugs described by Gez Lemon in 2007 whereby content hidden using display:none was read by the screen readers under certain conditions. The JAWS Bug Back then, the situation with JAWS 7.1 was that it announces content in a span element hidden with display: none if it is in an… Continue reading

HTML5, ARIA Roles, and Screen Readers in March 2011

Last year, in HTML5, ARIA Roles, and Screen Readers in March 2010, I took a look at how then current screen readers behaved with some of the HTML5 section elements and related WAI-ARIA document and landmark roles. Now that the major screen readers have all seen some significant updates, and both Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9 have officially been… Continue reading

It's Spelled aria-labelledby

This is just a quick note on spelling. The specification for aria-labelledby identifies the attribute’s correct spelling as “aria-labelledby”, as opposed to what might be its expected U.S. English spelling, “aria-labeledby”. Apparently, the approved spelling was selected to minimize the difficulty for developers. However, seeing as how easy it is to find examples in the wild where the attribute is… Continue reading

An ARIA alert Test Case

I put together a few examples of ARIA alerts and tested them with JAWS and NVDA in Firefox 3.6, Internet Explorer 7 and 8. The interesting bit is how alerts can be improved for JAWS 10 in Internet Explorer by adding an aria-live attribute value of “assertive”. Continue reading