Recommendation for Disabled Items


1.	The PFWG has asked the DHTML Style guide to make a
recommendation about keyboard access with respect to disabled items.  We
have discussed it, but have not come to consensus.  Below you will find
the current recommendation.  Please feel free to add your comments. 

        Use case: A locked spread sheet. A disabled item on a menu. A
read-only or disabled property in ARIA. 

*	Accessible information must be perceivable, navigable and
usable. In the case of disabled information, by definition it is not
usable, but never-the-less must be perceivable and navigable. 
*	For information to be perceivable it should be announced as you
enter a widget. In the case of a menu with disabled menu items, it might
announce, "Menu with 5 items. 3 are disabled.". In the case of a
disabled spread sheet, it might announce "Grid with 15 read only cells".

*	For information to be navigable, you must be able navigate to it
and have it read with a screen reader. This does not necessarily mean
that focus needs to move there with the tab key, but it does mean that
you should be able to navigate to it with some set of key strokes. In
the case of a menu, you tab into the widget and tab out of the widget.
Once in the widget, the arrow keys take over for navigation. The arrow
keys should move to all menu items even the ones that are disabled. The
same principle holds true for the grid example. 
*	Allowing navigation to the disabled content could be implemented
as a user preference in the AT. 

Donald F. Evans
Sr. Program Manager,
Office of Accessibility,
AIM: donaldfevans
Phone 703.265.5952

Received on Tuesday, 13 May 2008 19:18:24 UTC