W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > wai-xtech@w3.org > October 2010

Re: use of aria-hidden to provide a text description not visible on the page.

From: James Craig <jcraig@apple.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2010 12:02:19 -0700
Cc: Andi Snow-Weaver <andisnow@us.ibm.com>, Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-Id: <21244BF9-83A5-4F2A-84CC-61FCC9D9CB3B@apple.com>
To: David Bolter <david.bolter@gmail.com>
On Oct 12, 2010, at 8:15 AM, David Bolter wrote:

> The browser already knows what is visible and what is not. The reason aria-hidden was added in the first place was for assistive technology that looked directly at the DOM (and didn't rely solely on the accessibility tree exposed on the desktop).

That's one of two reasons.

> Personally, I would have preferred aria-hidden be removed from the spec than have it actually prune the accessibility tree.

Many technologies have the potential for abuse, but there remain plenty of legitimate cases where it is appropriate to hide a visible element from the accessibility tree. We *have* to provide a way for that to be made possible, or web developers will just avoid making their apps accessible.

Desktop accessibility APIs already allow this; now the web does, too. 

> What should we do if focus goes into this aria-hidden section of the DOM?

The implementation guide covers that in:
http://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria-implementation/#keyboard-focus_tabindex 

"All elements which are focusable MUST be exposed in the accessible tree, so that when they receive focus, there is an object for which to fire an accessibility event."

Although it is somewhat vague as to who should be doing the work. It should probably say:

"User agents MUST expose all focusable elements in the accessible tree, so that when they receive focus, there is an object for which to fire an accessibility event."

James
Received on Tuesday, 12 October 2010 19:02:55 UTC

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