(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

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

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

Not All ARIA Widgets Deserve role="application"

There are currently some great examples of WAI-ARIA-enabled widgets out there making the rounds. In particular, there’s Hans Hillen’s JQuery Widget Samples and the collection from the OpenAjax Alliance. These are nothing short of very useful. After all, ARIA is yet to be a full W3C recommendation (or standard, if you prefer), and we are all, or at least I… Continue reading

Title Attributes as Form Control Labels

Sometimes, often as a result of a web page’s layout or design, a label element cannot be used to identify a form control. Certainly, one can always use a visually hidden label, which is my preferred approach: you never know how the design might change in the future, at which point, if you’ve already got the label in the markup,… Continue reading