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RE: Bug: Firefox Accessibility Inspector reports placeholder attribute as eligible for accessible name

From: Newton, Brooks (Legal) <Brooks.Newton@thomsonreuters.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2018 13:41:58 +0000
To: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>, Glenda Sims <glenda.sims@deque.com>
CC: Eric Eggert <ee@w3.org>, "Schnabel, Stefan" <stefan.schnabel@sap.com>, "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>, WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BN7PR03MB3730F915C4C1D3CB6BBC2CFE84250@BN7PR03MB3730.namprd03.prod.outlook.com>
Thank you, David, for the excellent write up and explanation of how placeholder works with current user agent and assistive technology combinations.  Also, thanks for providing clarity on the intent of SC 3.3.2. I’ve got your blog post bookmarked.

Also, many thanks to Stefan, Andrew, Glenda, Jon, Patrick and Eric for the valuable contributions to this thread.  Glenda, great summary of the issues at play with using placeholder text.  My understanding of this topic is substantially improved having read everyone’s thoughts on this subject.

Brooks

From: David MacDonald [mailto:david100@sympatico.ca]
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2018 8:09 PM
To: Glenda Sims <glenda.sims@deque.com>
Cc: Eric Eggert <ee@w3.org>; Schnabel, Stefan <stefan.schnabel@sap.com>; Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>; WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Bug: Firefox Accessibility Inspector reports placeholder attribute as eligible for accessible name

I've done some testing and posted the results on Placeholder and offer my opinion on what WCAG says, and my memories of what 3.3.2 meant when we were writing it.

http://davidmacd.com/blog/is-placeholder-accessible-label.html<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__davidmacd.com_blog_is-2Dplaceholder-2Daccessible-2Dlabel.html&d=DwMFaQ&c=4ZIZThykDLcoWk-GVjSLmy8-1Cr1I4FWIvbLFebwKgY&r=W3VUihr49D2x8upR4FtjMIsy0FSGEnqb4ghTiQJMtRw&m=tn3Zye3R_PBJ2o8yLqfYtSRbqvAzByfmpy1CLSlllCM&s=u1jVO0Q2MaEBF_n7bkWBDdilqcK3chxASBjOA3oWrFY&e=>




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On Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 8:37 PM, Glenda Sims <glenda.sims@deque.com<mailto:glenda.sims@deque.com>> wrote:
I think I can find a11y peace with the thought of placeholder being (as a last ditch choice) allowed to serve as accessible name.  And agreeing with Jon Avila that that placeholder value serving as an accessible name needs to be meaningful as a label.

Eric, Patrick,  is it still valid for me to ask for F68 to be updated to include placeholder? https://www.w3.org/TR/2016/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20161007/F68


And if placeholder can be an accessible name, then my dang codepen example would pass WCAG 2.1 SC 2.5.3 Label in Name  (sigh)

And then failing my codepen on SC 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions (when the placeholder disappears and there is no visible label).   (nodding in agreement to Brooks)

Thanks for entertaining this question and helping me see more clearly.
G

glenda sims<mailto:glenda.sims@deque.com>, cpacc<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.accessibilityassociation.org_certification&d=DwMFaQ&c=4ZIZThykDLcoWk-GVjSLmy8-1Cr1I4FWIvbLFebwKgY&r=W3VUihr49D2x8upR4FtjMIsy0FSGEnqb4ghTiQJMtRw&m=tn3Zye3R_PBJ2o8yLqfYtSRbqvAzByfmpy1CLSlllCM&s=GFDnfNnBOfxgySz7U9F_swJk6GzEL15VaWMs1A1HTu0&e=>   | team a11y lead | 512.963.3773

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On Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 4:24 PM, Eric Eggert <ee@w3.org<mailto:ee@w3.org>> wrote:

<w3c-hat off>

Hi Glenda, all,

Just a quick reminder that if something that is not a WCAG compliant technique, it does not mean that browsers are not allowed to surface it in their APIs.

If browsers decide to surface the placeholder as an accessible name with the alternative of having no description at all, I think that’s their discretion. I also think that screen reader users would/do appreciate that as it renders form fields accessible to them where they otherwise wouldn't be for them. (There are accessibility issues for other Groups.) I personally don’t feel it serves them well to be thrown under the bus for theoretical purity.

As for the argument that having it in the accessible name calculation would encourage developers to use just placeholders, I don’t feel that’s valid from my day-to-day observations. They use the pattern because it is modern and because they can. Most developers don’t care about the accessibility of their websites, still. But they know they have to add some text to the field so there is a chance that users can fill it out.

I totally think “just placeholders” should be flagged in testing tools and maybe in browsers and validators, too, if the group decides it violates WCAG. But I think if browsers want to let assistive technologies grasp onto that last straw of an accessible name, let them have it.

Eric

On 8 Aug 2018, at 19:43, Glenda Sims wrote:
Alastair,

Would it be possible to bring up this question on the next AGWG agenda?  Reason I'm dealing with the question right now...we are assessing client sites for WCAG 2.1 SC 2.5.3 Label in Name https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/#label-in-name


I think it is important, that a11y experts be able to agree on whether the following code snippet minimally passes:

WCAG 2.1 SC 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
WCAG 2.1 SC 2.5.3 Label in Name

Code snippet: <input type="text"  name="first"  placeholder="First Name" id="first">
Sample of code to test: https://codepen.io/goodwitch/pen/OwEmEw<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__codepen.io_goodwitch_pen_OwEmEw&d=DwMFaQ&c=4ZIZThykDLcoWk-GVjSLmy8-1Cr1I4FWIvbLFebwKgY&r=W3VUihr49D2x8upR4FtjMIsy0FSGEnqb4ghTiQJMtRw&m=tn3Zye3R_PBJ2o8yLqfYtSRbqvAzByfmpy1CLSlllCM&s=9YAF65uCv_JYHHvpkD-8DGB2LG8uMi-GrKtBnGa482c&e=>
Firefox Accessibility Inspector reports this field as having an accessible name of “First Name”

I believe it fails both

  *   1.3.1 Info and Relationships

     *   (based on F68 https://www.w3.org/TR/2016/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20161007/F68)

  *   2.5.3 Label in Name

     *   because the placeholder text fails to be the accessible name based on F68
In the interest of helping people with disabilities...I am starting to see what Jamie Teh is saying about placeholder being like title.  And I'm about to say something super controversial...do we need to update Failure Technique 68.

Peace out,
Glenda


glenda sims<mailto:glenda.sims@deque.com>, cpacc<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.accessibilityassociation.org_certification&d=DwMFaQ&c=4ZIZThykDLcoWk-GVjSLmy8-1Cr1I4FWIvbLFebwKgY&r=W3VUihr49D2x8upR4FtjMIsy0FSGEnqb4ghTiQJMtRw&m=tn3Zye3R_PBJ2o8yLqfYtSRbqvAzByfmpy1CLSlllCM&s=GFDnfNnBOfxgySz7U9F_swJk6GzEL15VaWMs1A1HTu0&e=>   | team a11y lead | 512.963.3773

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On Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 1:01 AM, Schnabel, Stefan <stefan.schnabel@sap.com<mailto:stefan.schnabel@sap.com>> wrote:
Should this be exposed by the browser to the accessibility API as "foo" or not, if there's nothing else giving the input a programmatic name?

It should. But it violates WCAG requirement for VISIBLE label for input, so it is an authoring error, too.

There is a temptation in saying “browsers! Don”t map authoring errors”. But this is like expecting from your camera “don’t photograph this! It’s pathetic”. Such an approach lacks simplicity and makes things difficult to predict from a technical perspective.

The more interesting case is

<input placeholder=“foo” aria-label=“bar” title=“fine”>

How can it be granted that on focus screen readers will speak all three exploiting the API mapping and not using the DOM info?

- Stefan

Von meinem iPad gesendet

Am 07.08.2018 um 22:47 schrieb Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk<mailto:redux@splintered.co.uk>>:


On 07/08/2018 21:37, Patrick H. Lauke wrote:
...

The reason why placeholder is not advisable as a sole labelling mechanism is because it has usability and accessibility (e.g. for COGA) issues. But is that a reason not to have browsers expose it? Should they expose it only if there's another accessible name, and just as an accessible description? Or not at all?

For that matter, I could make an input with just, say, aria-label, and that gets exposed as the accessible name...e.g. just

<input aria-label="foo">

Should this be exposed by the browser to the accessibility API as "foo" or not, if there's nothing else giving the input a programmatic name?

P
--
Patrick H. Lauke

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--

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