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RE: Disabled elements need focus?

From: Jim Homme <jhomme@benderconsult.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2017 14:37:41 +0000
To: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>, "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CO1PR06MB2242A62C4E58D2356FA8F52DB580@CO1PR06MB224.namprd06.prod.outlook.com>
Speaking only for myself, I use Forms mode as little as possible, because I don't trust that the developer will make accessible forms. So even if it takes longer to fill out the form, I use reading mode so as not to miss anything.



Jim Homme,
Team Lead and Accessibility Consultant,
Bender HighTest Accessibility Team
Bender Consulting Services, Inc.,


-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick H. Lauke [mailto:redux@splintered.co.uk] 
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 5:50 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Disabled elements need focus?

On 14/02/2017 10:23, Rakesh wrote:
> Few of our friends are having different opinions on providing tab 
> focus for disabled buttons and links. When a disabled attribute is 
> used keyboard focus is not observed on buttons and links in some 
> browsers. Is it the expected behavior? One set of people argue that 
> screen reader user will never know that the element exist if the focus 
> is not provided. The other set of people argue that providing tab 
> focus to disabled elements cause additional frustration especially in 
> a process where time is a major factor. I have provide some situations 
> where the disabled attributes can be observed in general. Any thoughts 
> on the topic is highly appreciated.

For me, it comes down to context and information. A sighted user can certainly get information by seeing additional controls that are present, but disabled. It gives an indication that there may be more steps (and how many), that there are other options that may unlock depending on choices they make elsewhere in a form, etc. While screen reader users *can* find these disabled controls as well by using reading keys/navigation, they're less likely to use those while filling out a form. So, they are likely to miss these, and therefore likely to not receive the same information/hint that a sighted user gets from the visible disabled controls.

As such, I'd try to evaluate how much information is lost to screen reader users who may miss these disabled controls, and based on that evaluation possibly opt to still make those disabled controls focusable.

Patrick H. Lauke

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Received on Tuesday, 14 February 2017 14:38:14 UTC

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