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aria-ISSUE-1028 (SeparatorNotWidget): Separator is a structure but the description says it can be interactive [ARIA 1.1]

From: Accessible Rich Internet Applications Working Group Issue Tracker <sysbot+tracker@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 18 May 2016 20:45:16 +0000
To: public-aria@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1b38LE-000GL5-0m@nash.w3.org>
aria-ISSUE-1028 (SeparatorNotWidget): Separator is a structure but the description says it can be interactive [ARIA 1.1]

http://www.w3.org/WAI/ARIA/track/issues/1028

Raised by: Matthew King
On product: ARIA 1.1

The separator role is a structure. Screen readers render elements with role separator in the same way that the HTML HR element is rendered. Thus, screen readers regard separators as static, not interactive. 

Yet, the description of the separator role says that a separator may be a movable splitter that divides parts of a window. So, the APG Window splitter pattern states that the separator role should be used for an interactive window splitter.

Obviously, If you make a focusable, interactive window splitter and give it the separator role, it will not be operable with screen readers because they will not recognize a separator as interactive and neding to consume keys like arrows, home, and end.

The superclass of separator can not be change to be a widget without breaking its ability to serve as an equivalent to HR. the widget role can not be added as a second superclass because there would not be a way for assistive technologies to discern if the element is a separator or a splitter.

Proposal:
1. Remove language about interaction from the separator role.
2. Add a splitter role that is a widget.
Received on Wednesday, 18 May 2016 20:45:17 UTC

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