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live region option for announcing an update has occurred but not the change (Comment 328)

From: <sofiacelic@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2010 17:00:40 +0000
To: PFWG Public Comments <public-pfwg-comments@w3.org>
Message-Id: <E1OR6q0-0001pX-Li@stu.w3.org>

Document: Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.0 Working Draft 15 December 2009
Part: aria-atomic (property) (aria-atomic)

I have an early recollection of an ARIA feature that does not seem to be part of the specification now. I may have had this wrong from the start but it is a feature that I would find very useful and I am not able to find anything in the current specification to address it.

I would like to have a screen reader user notified that a particular live region has been updated but not announce the change itself. 

To use an example implementation: I have a search page that includes a search form at the top of the main content area and the search results (table format) below the search form. As the user types characters into the search edit field the search result table is updated. I would like to let the user know that the search results have been updated but I do not think that announcing the content of the search table is appropriate for each character the user types.

This will allow the user to investigate the change at a time of their choosing.

I have not been able to find an appropriate combination of ARIA properties that would result in a screen reader announcing "Search results updated" (with "Search Results" being the label for the live region) only.

Proposal:

Allow 3 choices for the aria-atomic property: 
- all (Assistive technology will present the entire region as a whole)
- some (A change within the region may be processed by the assistive technologies on its own)
- label (Assistive technology will present the region's label and the updated status only)

This proposed resolution would be influenced by the proposed resolution for another comment I am submitting "live region label announcement"
Received on Tuesday, 22 June 2010 17:00:41 GMT

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