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Re: Labeling Groups of Radio Buttons

From: Aaron Smith <aaron@gwmicro.com>
Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 13:12:05 -0500
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.0.20010525130353.02947940@mail.gwmicro.com>
To: "Mike Scott" <mscott@msfw.com>, "WAI Interest Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Mike,

You bring up an interesting concept, especially where IE is concerned.

Window-Eyes supports what you're trying to do, but IE does not. Here's why.

When you put controls inside of a LABEL tag, IE promptly concatenates all 
of the field names into one name for each control. You can see this clearly 
with INSPECT or AccExplorer (both from the MSAA SDK - 
http://www.microsoft.com/enable/msaa/download.htm). So with Window-Eyes 
(out of MSAA), you would tab to the first radio button and hear, "What kind 
of cheese do you want on your pizza Mozzarella Cheddar None."

If IE would properly assign names to the right controls, then Window-Eyes 
would speak (when you tabbed), "What kind of cheese do you want on your 
pizza checkbox checked Mozzarella." Another tab would yield, "What kind of 
cheese do you want on your pizza checkbox checked Cheddar," and so on.

So what you're trying to do is correct and a good design method. But IE 
either doesn't understand that, or accept that. Looks like it's time to 
contact our favorite Microsoft representatives. <grin>

At 11:44 AM 5/25/2001 -0500, Mike Scott wrote:
>Does anyone have ideas on the appropriate way to mark up a group of
>radio/option buttons (input type="radio") so that a screen reader/talking
>browser can identify the group name as well as the label of the individual
>buttons.
>
>For example, if the group was:
>         "What kind of cheese do you want on your pizza?",
>and the radio buttons are:
>         "Mozzarella",
>         "Cheddar",
>         "None".
>
>and the user tabbed to the radio buttons (a la IE & JAWS in "forms mode"),
>only the radio button label is read. So in this case, the user hears
>"Mozzarella [tab]Cheddar [tab] None" but never hears what the question is...
>
>Currently, I've got the radio button labels (Mozzarella, Cheddar, none)
>tagged with <Label> for their respective buttons. I've tried using
><Fieldset> with <Legend> marking up the group label (What kind of cheese...)
>, but JAWS doesn't read it as I would have expected. Home Page Reader
>handles it a little better by simply reading the group lable before the
>first value -- if you're on the third button, you still have to arrow back
>to the first if you want to re-read the group label, but it's managable.
>
>So two questions:
>(1) What is the "correct" way to markup the button and group labels?, and
>(2) What is the most practical way considering what the leading assistive
>technologies support?
>
>Thanks,
>Mike

--
Aaron Smith
GW Micro
Phone: 219/489-3671
Fax: 219/489-2608
WWW: http://www.gwmicro.com
FTP: ftp://ftp.gwmicro.com
Technical Support & Web Development
Received on Friday, 25 May 2001 14:12:18 GMT

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