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RE: ACTION-1440: landmarks section uses "region of page" in prose even though "region" is not a landmark

From: Léonie Watson <lwatson@paciellogroup.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2014 13:38:21 -0000
To: "'Matthew King'" <mattking@us.ibm.com>, "'WAI Protocols & Formats'" <public-pfwg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <002201d00e35$3df92ca0$b9eb85e0$@paciellogroup.com>
Matt King wrote:

"I propose the following changes for ARIA 1.1 to resolve the issues
surrounding action 1440. 

1.       Change the super class of the following roles to be the abstract
role section: alert, grid, list, log, status, and tabpanel."


This seems to fit based on the definition of the abstract section role [1].


"2. Remove region as a superclass of article, leaving article with document
as its only superclass."


3. Change the "Name from" characteristic of abstract role section to be


4. Change the definition of landmark as follows. 

Current definition: 

A type of region on a page to which the user may want quick access. Content
in such a region is different from that of other regions on the page and
relevant to a specific user purpose, such as navigating, searching, perusing
the primary content, etc. 

Proposed new definition: 

A region of a page to which the user may want quick access. The region has
either a type (role) or label or both that conveys its relevance to a
specific purpose, such as navigating, searching, perusing the primary
content, etc."


Do we need to mention that it should have a type/role? Perhaps mentioning
labels is enough.


"5. Keep the current landmark role as abstract. Even though we had general
agreement that making it concrete may be a good idea, after reconsidering, I
think it will create significant problems. Primary reasons: 

A. a generic landmark role that does not require a label will reduce
usability given that the landmark will have neither a clear purpose nor a
label. We agreed that if landmark were concrete, it could not require label
in order to be exposed as a landmark. 

B. Making landmark concrete does not benefit current UA and AT
implementations that support authors use of labeled regions as generic
landmark containers and could create confusion since a labeled region and an
unlabeled generic landmark would need to receive equal treatment by UA and

C. Given the above proposed definition of landmark and changes to the
ontology, we could eliminate the abstract landmark role without losing
anything. However, I think this would just create unnecessary work."


This is the thought I was beginning to arrive at on the call yesterday. With
reference to your first point, for a time Jaws announced "Region" whenever
it encountered an unlabelled region, and the UX was lousy. Making landmark
into a concrete role (without requiring a label) will recreate the same


"6. In the HTML 5 mapping, map HTML section to region only if region has a


7. In the core AAM, only expose role region in the platform accessibility
APIs if the region has a label. (Note, this is only for role region and not
any of its subclasses).


8. Specify accessible name as required for role region and explicitly
override that requirement (set it false) for each of the concrete landmark
subclass roles."


Seems like a good solution. 


"9. Consider adding the following text to the prose for role region (not
sure this is necessary): 

"Assistive technologies and user agents MAY provide landmark navigation
functionality for elements with role region and an accessible name.""


If it clarifies the intention it's worth adding I think.


I like your proposal Matt. It feels like a simpler solution, and one that
isn't going to transfer the problem instead of make it go away.





Senior Accessibility Engineer, TPG

@LeonieWatson @PacielloGroup


Received on Tuesday, 2 December 2014 13:38:41 UTC

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