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screen reader focus with dynamic content

From: Jacob Mouka <jmouka@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2013 17:22:09 -0400
Message-Id: <89520B40-18D6-47AA-B32B-79FC1CDDAF8B@gmail.com>
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hello everyone

I have question about screen reader (and/or keyboard navigation) focus of dynamic content. Specifically, how well do screen readers allow the person to jump around dynamically updating content without losing track of their position? My understanding is that the aria-live attribute is the correct method for notifying of content updates, but what's the strategy for keeping track of the focus? A typical case is having a list of items, and clicking one of them displays more details about that item in a detail component.  For example, in an email application there is the list of emails and selecting one email shows the details about it. This update tends to be dynamic, and I can see using aria-live to notify the person of the update, but is there some mechanism to explore the updated content and then jump back to the list? In general, is there a good strategy for tracking the history of jumping around dynamic content?

My interest is fairly broad. I'm looking for best practices, how well screen readers handle the tracking of focus, and also about any research that has been done in this area. 

Any information is much appreciated, thank you!
Received on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 21:22:37 UTC

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