ACTION-2069: Proposal to resolve issue 1028 with the separator role

Below is a description of the issue and proposed solution related to the
separator role for tomorrow's ARIA agenda.

Thanks, Matt


Issue 1028[1] description:


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



1. Remove language about interaction from the separator role.

2. Add a splitter role that is a widget.


Action 2069[2] is to create a proposal for addressing issue 1028. 


The proposal is  now in the action2069-separator branch[3]. In this branch:

* Separator is no longer described as moveable or interactive.

* aria-expanded is removed from the separator role.

* A sentence in the separator description refers the reader to the new
splitter role if the user wishes to make an interactive separator.

* There is a first draft of a new splitter role.



[1] Issue 1028:

[2] Action 2069:

[3] RawGit view of proposal:

Received on Wednesday, 18 May 2016 23:48:00 UTC