Re: GWT accordion example

Buttons should have labels that describe what they do and ARIA has mechanism for doing this.  So if there is a sequence of buttons the button labeling can orient the users to the sequence.

One of the major problem that I have with the accordion role is that all the keyboard models seem very complex and there is no general consensus on what the keyboard model should be.  I am worried that these model(s) may be more confusing than helpful to users.  I also don't want to ask developers to create complex keyboard models that turn out not to be useful to people with disabilities.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2008 14:40:23 -0400
>From: Joseph Scheuhammer <>  
>Subject: Re: GWT accordion example  
>To: Jon Gunderson <>
>Cc: David Bolter <>, Aaron M Leventhal <>,,
>Jon wrote:
>> These seem to me little more than buttons the expose and hide content.  I do not think they are a special control.
>I think a wizard or a pager, at least, are more than just buttons to 
>expose and hide content.  The essential feature of wizards is that the 
>content is presented in a sequence.  The UI is a way to guide a user 
>through the content.  Which content is revealed depends on past choices, 
>and the path through the sequence is not necessarily straight forward.
>In contrast, tab lists and accordions are random access interfaces in 
>that there is no restriction that the content be revealed in any 
>sequence.  Users can interact sequentially with a tab panel, but they 
>are not required to.*
>That all four potentially use the same or very similar keystrokes is 
>somewhat remarkable.
>That being said, if there is no benefit to, say, screen reader users in 
>exposing these components as anything more than buttons for showing and 
>hiding content, then, well, okay.  The point behind giving more specific 
>roles and states is that they describe the HTML to the user in a way 
>that helps them understand what they can do.
>The question is:  is describing the situation as buttons sufficient?  I 
>presume the buttons would include an aria-controls property to indicate 
>what content is shown/hidden by them.  What else would be needed?  What 
>is the role of the content itself?  Does it need one?  Note that if it 
>were described as a tablist, and the content as a tabpanel (with their 
>properties/states), the user gets the relationships "for free".  And the 
>* The fact that wizards and pagers define an ordering implies that there 
>needs to be more than just classifying them with role="tablist".  There 
>needs to be a property than indicates the order vs. random-access 
>aspect.  Is it aria-flowto 
>(  That is, the presence of 
>aria-flowto indicates this is a tablist that is sequenced (wizard, 
>pager); whereas its absence indicates lack of order.
>'This is not war -- this is pest control!'
>      - "Doomsday", Dalek Leader -
Jon Gunderson, Ph.D.
Coordinator Information Technology Accessibility
Disability Resources and Educational Services

Rehabilitation Education Center
Room 86
1207 S. Oak Street
Champaign, Illinois 61821

Voice: (217) 244-5870


Received on Thursday, 30 October 2008 20:20:53 UTC