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SV: aria role attribute

From: Morten Tollefsen <morten@medialt.no>
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2011 19:40:14 +0100
Message-ID: <EDA91A2F291B104FA26F01B9300235E474CD64@mlt-server-01.medialt.local>
To: "Michael A. Peters" <mpeters@domblogger.net>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Interesting question, and I've faced the same when working with a couple
of SharePoint based intranets. In the last project we really needed to
separate three (or actually four) navigation elements. In this project
we could limit our aria testing to Jaws, and found the following

<div title="Submenu" role="navigation">
<li>First selection</li>

Jaws shows this as:
Submenu navigation region start
list of 2 items
* First selection 
* ... 
list end
navigation region end

I do absolutely not know if this is a good solution for all screen
readers, but at least using the title element helped us:-).

Mvh: Morten Tollefsen
www.medialt.no, 908 99 305

-----Opprinnelig melding-----
Fra: Michael A. Peters [mailto:mpeters@domblogger.net] 
Sendt: 18. desember 2011 00:46
Til: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Emne: aria role attribute


I'm currently working on a CMS that I hope will make it as easy as 
possible to produce proper accessible content.

While my personal disability does not cause any issue with using the 
web, I personally understand how frustrating it can be for someone to be

denied or have poor access to a resource because the group responsible 
for the resource did not take simple steps to make it accessible.

There is a lot of work and testing I still need to do, but I currently 
have some questions about the aria role attribute, specifically the 
navigation role.

There are 3 different types of navigation lists produced by my CMS:

1) Site navigation, links to other pages on the web site.
2) Document Wide navigation, links to anchors at every h1 through h3 
level heading in the page. This is in an aside and is not really 
accessible from browsers that do not use CSS since the aside code is 
after the main content code.
3) Section Navigation - links to ever direct sub section within the HTML

article structure, this list is put inside a header node right after the

heading for the section. This greatly improves accessibility when using 
a browser like links or lynx, as it is fairly easy to navigate to a 
specific part of a large document.

I think accessibility could be improved if there was a way to describe 
which type of navigation list the list was, rather than just generic 
role="navigation" attribute in the parent container. Is there a way to 
do that?


Also on the topic of aria role attribute, when testing the output of my 
CMS in Android using various browsers, it seemed none of them made 
obvious use of the aria role attribute, even though it would make using 
a tablet that much easier for everyone.

For example, how cool would it be to fire up Opera Mobile, go to a web 
page, click the tablets menu button, and be able to select main content 
from the menu. That would seem to be a much easier way to get to the 
main content than using fingers on the screen to position and select 
what part of the page you want to see.

Is there any hint of mobile browser developers using the role attribute 
in this manner? It would probably encourage web developers to use the 
role attribute, as it would make their sites easier to use on tablets.

Thanks for any comments.
Received on Sunday, 18 December 2011 18:41:08 UTC

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