Author Archives: Marco

Quick tip: Add someone to circles on Google Plus using a screen reader

In my “WAI-ARIA for screen reader users” post in early May, I was asked by Donna to talk a bit about Google Plus. Especially, she asked how to add someone to circles. Google Plus has learned a thing or two … Continue reading

Posted in Accessibility | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Accessibility in Google Apps – an overview

I recently said that I would write a blog series about Google apps accessibility, providing some hints and caveats when it comes to using Google products such as GMail, Docs, and Drive in a web browser. However, when I researched … Continue reading

Posted in Accessibility, GMail | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

WAI-ARIA for screen reader users: An overview of things you can find in some mainstream web apps today

After my recent post about WAI-ARIA, which was mostly geared towards web developers, I was approached by more than one person on Twitter and elsewhere suggesting I’d do a blog post on what it means for screen reader users. Well, … Continue reading

Posted in Accessibility, ARIA | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

Improvements to the handling of the aria-pressed attribute

On Monday this week, Heydon Pickering brought to my attention that Firefox has a problem with the way it handles the aria-pressed attribute in some circumstances. aria-pressed is used on buttons (or elements that have a WAI-ARIA role of “button”) … Continue reading

Posted in ARIA | Tagged , | 1 Comment

What is WAI-ARIA, what does it do for me, and what not?

On March 20, 2014, the W3C finally published the WAI-ARIA standard version 1.0. After many years of development, refinement and testing, it is now a web standard. But I am often asked again and again: What is it exactly? What … Continue reading

Posted in Accessibility, ARIA | Tagged , | 19 Comments

Easy ARIA Tip #7: Use “listbox” and “option” roles when constructing AutoComplete lists

One question that comes up quite frequently is the one of which roles to use for an auto-complete widget, or more precisely, for the container and the individual auto-complete items. Here’s my take on it: Let’s assume the following rough … Continue reading

Posted in Accessibility, ARIA | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Why screen reader detection on the web is a bad thing

On February 26, 2014, the webAIM project published the results of their 5th screen reader user survey. Two questions were new in this survey that pertain to a recently growing desire of some web developers to know whether they’re dealing … Continue reading

Posted in Accessibility | 29 Comments

WAI-ARIA showcase: TinyMCE 4.17

Today, on February 26, the TinyMCE team released version 4.17 of the JavaScript/HTML editor for the web. In the release notes, the first item mentioned is much improved accessibility support. For those of you not familiar with TinyMCE: It is … Continue reading

Posted in Accessibility, ARIA | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Some do’s and dont’s we gathered from making the Firefox OS UI more accessible

In my last post, I mentioned that we learned a few things from making the Firefox OS UI, code-named Gaia, more accessible over the past few months. This produced quite a few questions about what these things were. So rather … Continue reading

Posted in FirefoxOS, Mobile | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Accessibility in Firefox OS: An update

After my introductory video, quite some things happened in the realm of Firefox OS accessibility, and although we’re still not quite ready yet to release builds to beta testers, we’re getting closer to a state where this will be the … Continue reading

Posted in FirefoxOS | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Accessibility in Firefox for Android: Some more technical background, Part II

A long while back, I wrote a post explaining some of the more technical details of the implementation of the accessibility in Firefox for Android. If you want to read the whole post, feel free to do so and then … Continue reading

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Switching back to Windows

Yes, you read correctly! After five years on a Mac as my private machine, I am switching back to a Windows machine in a week or so, depending on when Lenovo’s shipment arrives. You are probably asking yourself, why I … Continue reading

Posted in Apple | Tagged , , , , | 45 Comments

WAI-ARIA showcase: Microsoft Office web apps

Prompted by the recent Microsoft and GW Micro partnership announcement, I took a long overdue look at Microsoft’s Office 365 product offerings. The Home Premium edition not only gives you five installations of full Office Professional versions in your household, … Continue reading

Posted in Accessibility, Apple, ARIA, Firefox, Mobile, NVDA, Testing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

What got me into programming

On Nov 20, 1983, Borland released Turbo Pascal 1.0. At a price of revolutionary 50 us$, developers received the world’s first fully integrated development environment (IDE) for the PC. It combined the compiler and code editor, and later also debugger, … Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why accessibility APIs matter

This morning, Victor from payPal and I got into an exchange on Twitter regarding the ChromeVox extension. ChromeVox is a Chrome extension which provides screen reading functionality for blind users. Through keyboard commands, the user can navigate page content by … Continue reading

Posted in Accessibility, ARIA, Firefox, FirefoxOS, Mobile | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Twitter now has a dedicated accessibility team

Ever since I joined Twitter in March of 2008, at my first CSUN under the Mozilla banner, Twitter’s own web presence was always a bit, or even a lot, of a challenge to use for me as a screen reader … Continue reading

Posted in Accessibility | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

What’s New for TalkBack users in Firefox 25 for Android

Firefox 25 for Android, out as an official release end of October, and on the Aurora channel since August 9, will include a number of new features for visually impaired users. This continues a series of new features introduced in … Continue reading

Posted in Accessibility, Firefox, Mobile | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

How I came to grudgingly accept aria-hidden

Yes, that’s right, I grudgingly accept the fact that aria-hidden is here, and most probably here to stay. Those of you who know me and have been involved in discussions with me, like poor Victor Tsaran, whom I pestered more … Continue reading

Posted in Accessibility, ARIA, FirefoxOS | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Small demo video about Firefox OS accessibility

Over the past few weeks, especially after the launch of Firefox OS devices in early July, I received a lot of questions about the accessibility of this mobile operating system purely based on web technologies. To answer that, I made … Continue reading

Posted in Accessibility, Firefox, FirefoxOS, Mobile | Tagged , | 14 Comments

New features for TalkBack users in Firefox for Android 24

Today, I have some exciting news to share with you! Firefox for Android 24 will bring a lot of noticeable improvements for users of TalkBack and alternative Android screen readers. Here’s a round-up of those enhancements and new features: Braille … Continue reading

Posted in Accessibility, Firefox, Mobile | Tagged , , , , | 26 Comments