Firefox 3.0.5 accessibility: New features

Firefox 3.0.5 has just been released, and as the release notes mention, brings a few accessibility improvements. Here’s what they are!

  • Firefox 3.0.5 exposes all CSS display properties as object attributes now in addition to the older “formatting:block” parameter. However, the “display” object attribute values are more granular, mirroring the exact display attribute that is present on the accessible node. The only exception is display: none, for which we usually don’t create accessibles. Assistive technology vendors can use this new “display” object attribute to more exactly find out how certain objects blend in with others, are formatted etc. Firefox 3.1b2 also supports this, in fact this change has been “baking” on the Firefox 3.1 branch for quite a while already, and has now been back-ported to 3.0.5 for better compatibility.
  • There was still a problem left that certain types of elements could not take the focus when instructed to do so. This resulted in some elements not being activated when trying to do so from within virtual buffers.
  • For those screen readers not using IAccessible2, but using the iSimpleDom interfaces, a bug has been backported to 3.0.5 that would not properly handle the request to return the computed styles of an element. This should allow those assistive technologies using iSimpleDom interfaces to get more accurate style information out of nodes in Firefox 3.0.5, as they already can in 3.1.

Thanks to everyone who is continuously giving us feedback on our accessibility implementations!