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RE: screen reader focus with dynamic content

From: Ian Sharpe <themanxsharpy@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2013 14:34:57 -0000
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <78EB11D28D0F4BBDAAA7E6E76D4B738F@sharpyPC>
+Hi Jacob

A similar question was asked on a different list recently and my
interpretation of the discussion was that it depends on what you are trying
to do.

I don't personally believe that ARIA live is supposed to be used
specifically to notify users of content changes although it could be helpful
in this regard. I understand it's purpose as being more to provide helpful
information or updated information as and when various events fire. Perhaps
a good example might be using it to announce new messages arriving in a chat
window and / or reading these messages when they arrive.  Others may have
different opinions on this though.

If you are talking about a scenario in which the user clicks something which
then causes content to be modified dynamically elsewhere on the page, I
would make the following suggestions:

1. if the content can be considered part of a single logical "widget", use
ARIA control state as suggested by Johnathan. An example here might be the
dynamic loading of flyout menu links when the user selects a menu item.

2. If the content is more sensibly considered as a page refresh, possibly
similar to modifying the main content in a single page web application for
example, then it maybe more appropriate to use other techniques to direct
the user to the updated content area. The jQuery UI dialog seems to provide
an effective way to achieve this kind of functionality in the case of a
dialog box but the approach could be used just as well to read dynamic
content after it has loaded.

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer here basically and how you
address the issue will depend on the experience you feel most sensibly fits
your use case.

Cheers
Ian


   

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Jacob Mouka [mailto:jmouka@gmail.com] 
Sent: 19 March 2013 21:22
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: screen reader focus with dynamic content

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!
Jacob
Received on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 14:35:34 GMT

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