Quick tip: Handling the sub menus in the WordPress 3.3 admin area with a screen reader

This is a quick tip to show how to use the new sub menus in the admin area of WordPress 3.3 with a screen reader. For this, I’m using NVDA 2011.3RC, and Firefox 9.

tagged with: #Firefox, #Keyboardaccessibility

From WAI-ARIA to HTML5 and back...or maybe not?

Over the weekend, I gave a presentation at the German Multimediatreff. I talked about how to make things more accessible by combining HTML5 and WAI-ARIA in smart ways, using HTML5 where available and appropriate, and enhancing the user experience where HTML5 still has gaps in the implementation. This is a recap of what I showed.

tagged with: #Constraintvalidation, #Html5, #Html5forms, #Wai-aria

Apple's iOS 4 supports WAI-ARIA landmarks

This is, I believe, my 100th post on this blog, and I’m using it to announce that Apple’s iOS 4, released yesterday for the iPhone and iPod Touch, supports WAI-ARIA landmark in the VoiceOver screen reader. VoiceOver has had, since its inception, a feature called the rotor. The rotor allows users to set a particula rweb element by which the one-finger-flick up and down gesture moves in mobile Safari and other apps that use a web display. This feature is now highly customizable. Not only can you enable and disable certain features (for example if you never want to navigate by graphics, you can disable it completely and it won’t show up in the rotor). But the rotor settings also include a new feature called landmarks. This rotor setting is disabled by default, but can be enabled through the Web settings sub window of the VoiceOver settings. Once enabled, and the user switches to it via the rotor gesture, navigating by WAI-ARIA landmarks on a page works very nicely. The one thing that VoiceOver does not do yet is announce the type of landmark, be it banner, main, search, complementary etc. Furthermore, the landmarks also include what is called automatic web spots in the VoiceOver on Snow Leopard for the Mac. So not only do you jump to the actually marked up landmarks, but a few more spots on a page Apple deems interesting. In my experience, these usually are quite useful spots, too, so this doesn’t harm the original landmark feature at all.

tagged with: #Ios4, #Voiceover, #Wai-aria

CSUN 2010 recap

From March 22 to 27, the 5th Annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference took place at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego, California. It is most commonly referred to as CSUN 2010.

tagged with: #Csun2010

Easy ARIA Tip #5: aria-expanded and aria-controls

In this Easy ARIA tip, I will give you a bit of a hint on how to make not too complex, but still dynamic, menus accessible. We often encounter menus that pop in and out upon a mouse click or activation of an element using the keyboard.

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Easy ARIA Tip #4: Landmarks

Yes, they’re back! This is the fourth Easy ARIA Tip in a trilogy of Easy ARIA Tips. 🙂

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The importance of placement of HTML elements in a document

This was an issue I ran into today, so thought I’d blog about it.

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You're a table, and I don't care what lies underneath

Over the past couple of weeks, Alex, David and I have been hard at work refactoring, discussing, and implementing better support for accessible tables in Gecko. Some of this has seen the light in Firefox 3.6alpha, but the heart of the work is currently only in mozilla-central (AKA Firefox 3.7). Update: As of October 29, these changes have also been ported to the Firefox 3.6 AKA the Gecko 1.9.2 branch and will be in the final release of Firefox 3.6. It will not yet appear in the upcoming release of Firefox 3.6b1, since that was branched off before we landed the IAccessibleTable2 support.

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Use CSS3 transforms, makes your pages more accessible!

If you’re one of those types who likes to visually twist, rotate or tweak some text, in previous years the only real choice was to use pictures to achieve such visual effects. However, thanks to CSS3 transforms, supported in Firefox 3.5 and later, Safari 3 and later, and Opera 10 beta, it is now possible to use plain text and rotate, twist and tweak its looks via CSS. The big advantage: Screen readers will still read the text OK because their reading order is not influenced by the visual appearance of the text. So even text rotated by 45 or 90 degrees will appear correctly in a screen reader’s virtual buffer.

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The WAI-ARIA Windows screen reader shootout

Firefox 3.5 has been released, and now it’s time to take a look at what features of WAI-ARIA are being supported by which Windows screen reader. Competition is healthy in this market, and two new screen readers have started supporting Firefox during the 3.5 development cycle: Dolphin’s Hal/SuperNova and Serotek’s System Access (including the free SAToGo offering). So to document the current state of affairs, I’ve taken each one of the following screen readers running on the Windows platform on a tour through some WAI-ARIA implementations that are out there for everyone to use. I’ve chosen not to do a widget-by-widget walkthrough of the Dojo DIJIT Toolkit or some other JS library already including WAI-ARIA, but instead concentrated on stuff users will actually encounter while surfing the web under non-clinical conditions.

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