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RE: [EXTERNAL] Focus/Blur and Voice Over Commands

From: Tim Harshbarger <tim.harshbarger.cqwg@statefarm.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2018 15:31:11 +0000
To: Taliesin Smith <talilief@gmail.com>
CC: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, Taliesin Love Smith <Taliesin.Smith@Colorado.EDU>
Message-ID: <d5905a33c20a4f5388a4c9522c968954@statefarm.com>
Based on what you described, I would not expect the application to handle the situation where a screen reader user decides to switch to virtual/review mode—especially since the main purpose of that mode is to allow the screen reader user to navigate through the user interface without making any changes to it.

From: Taliesin Smith [mailto:talilief@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 9:16 AM
To: Tim Harshbarger <tim.harshbarger.cqwg@statefarm.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org; Taliesin Love Smith <Taliesin.Smith@Colorado.EDU>
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] Focus/Blur and Voice Over Commands

Thanks for your comments, Tim. These are helpful.

In the case, I described, a Voice Over user is Tabbing to an interactive control, a native range input (i.e., a slider). On focus, the slider does have “system focus”, it has a visual indication of focus and is operational. Adjusting the slider at this point, the user will get the proper experience (slider values and aria-live alerts). If the user exits web content with Voice Over’s command-option-shift-up arrow, system focus is not blurred.

Is it the responsibility of the web application to blur system focus, in this case, or is it the responsibility of the screen reader software and browser?

As far as I know, we are not preventing Voice Over from blurring.


On Jun 5, 2018, at 11:23 AM, Tim Harshbarger <tim.harshbarger.cqwg@statefarm.com<mailto:tim.harshbarger.cqwg@statefarm.com>> wrote:

I am not as familiar with Voiceover on Mac OS, but it is likely similar to iOS and how screen readers work on Windows.  When using the screen reader’s virtual or review cursor, it doesn’t trigger focus or blur events. The idea of the virtual/review cursor in most screen readers is to allow the user to navigate the current contents without triggering changes to the user interface.

It is typically system focus that triggers blur and focus events. A screen reader typically only manipulates the system focus when it is not in virtual/review cursor mode but in some type of form or application mode.

That is likely the problem you are dealing with now.


From: Taliesin Smith [mailto:talilief@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 8:15 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org<mailto:w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: Taliesin Love Smith <Taliesin.Smith@Colorado.EDU>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Focus/Blur and Voice Over Commands

Dear WAI,
I work with a team on making interactive science simulation accessible (PhET Interactive Simulations).

In recent Quality Assurance testing of a prototype for the Resistance in Wire<https://phet-dev.colorado.edu/html/resistance-in-a-wire/1.5.0-rc.5/phet/resistance-in-a-wire_all_phet.html> simulation, we found an issue when using Voice Over. It seems that Voice Over does not successfully blur (i.e., remove focus) from a slider control that has focus when the user uses the native Voice Over command, command-option-shift-up arrow, to exit web content.

The result is that the slider remains visually focused and operational via all the normal keyboard methods, even though the user is technically “out of web content”. In this case, Voice Over will not announce slider values if the user adjusts the slider. In this case, Voice Over only announces aria-live alerts. This means that the user is not getting all the information they are supposed to be getting when they adjust a slider. In addition, if the user re-enters web content using command-option-shift-down arrow, their virtual focus starts at the top of the sim with the H1 content.

We think the lack of blurring is a Voice Over bug.

My questions to the group are:

  1.  Are we supposed to do anything special to make Voice Over blur focus in the case, or is this indeed a Voice Over bug?
  2.  Where is virtual focus supposed to go after a properly blurred event?
  3.  Is starting at the top of the page the correct place for the virtual cursor to be after a successful blur event, after successfully exiting web content with the native Voice Over command?
  4.  Starting at the top, seems to be the default behavior. Is it the correct behavior?
We have done a lot of user testing with blind users. Exiting web content after focusing a control is not something that has occurred during usability testing with Voice Over users.

It would be great to get some thoughts from experts on this list regarding this blurring issue.

Taliesin Smith
My work email is Taliesin.Smith@colorado.edu<mailto:Taliesin.Smith@colorado.edu> if you would like to know more about our work on making interactive science simulations accessible.

Received on Tuesday, 5 June 2018 15:32:18 UTC

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