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Re: highlighting the focus

From: Loretta Guarino Reid <lguarino@Adobe.COM>
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 10:55:40 -0800
Message-Id: <200012111855.KAA03892@patagonia.adobe.com>
To: Jon Gunderson <jongund@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
cc: lguarino@Adobe.COM, jacobs@w3.org, Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org, schwer@us.ibm.co
  I asked about focus feedback because I am working on Adobe Acrobat and trying to ensure that we provide the right visual feedback about focus. 
  This is an implementation issue for our internal UI support. Where we use standard system UI element, we rely on the OS to provide appropriate focus feedback. So, for instance, the window containing focus will adhere to OS standards. I'm really inquiring about finer grain feedback.
  There are times when focus is in the document, or some element of the document. If focus reaches some part of the document via a keyboard command (e.g. TAB), the element gets highlighted. However, if, for instance, the user sets focus via the mouse, or because some action causes the focus to revert to the document, the element may not be highlighted. 
  I don't think this is a problem for AT support; the element really does have focus and notifies the system about focus changes. There just isn't necessarily visual feedback about where the focus is. 
  This generally happens when focus is in the document, and I believe users assume that is where the focus is unless they see an indication otherwise. However, I can't quite tell from the guidelines whether this lack of explicit visual feedback will cause accessibility problems.


P.S. Thanks to all of you for your responses to my questions. The discussion has been very helpful for my understanding of what problems some of the guidelines are addressing.

> Loretta,
> It is much easier for people using screen readers if one element in a 
> graphical window has the when a new window is opened and configured to 
> receive focus.  We do not require that an element in the new window have 
> focus in the guidelines when it opens, only that the user have control of 
> how focus changes when a new window opens automatically (checkpoint 4.18 
> and 4.20).  The window that has the focus needs to be highlighted according 
> to the OS conventions per checkpoint 8.6.
> Is there a particular product that you have questions about?
> Jon
Received on Monday, 11 December 2000 13:56:37 UTC

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