Few questions about accessible web interfaces and WAI ARIA

Apologies for cross posting.





I am an Italian research belonging to a group working on accessible and
usable web applications for blind people using a screen reader and an audio



Looking at WAI-ARIA best practices documentation and I am trying to find a
way to separate a web page in regions, so that the blind user could jump
from a region to another, using key combinations.


Landmarks seems to work with Jaws 10 and Internet or Firefox browsers, but
names of landmarks seem not being customizable (it is only possible to use
banner, navigation, search, main, complementary, contentinfo and not, for
example menu, instructions, daily temperature, ecc.);

(If I press CTRL+INS+ combination, a window with list of landmarks,


I literally followed also suggestions of WAI ARIA best practices
(http://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria-practices/#kbd_layout) trying using regions
instead of landmarks, so to be able to obtain customizable names of regions,
but those code examples seem not working in practice (in the sense that, If
I press CTRL+INS+ combination on Italian keyboard, the window with list of
regions appears, but their names are all “Region” and not the desiderated

I don’t know if it depends on the browsers or jaws screen reader.


Any suggestions about it?




I have another question (even if I don’t know you will be able to answer or
giving any suggestions for that):

I am working also on an accessible prototype of Google Documents and I would
like also implement an accessible web editor (similar to Word look and feel)
with basic features on a toolbar (bold, italic, underline, left, center,
right), in which is possible to select a part of the text and changing font
properties (bold, italic, underline) or layout (left, center, right);
unfortunately solutions I have found on internet seem not work as I desire:


1)      Use of textarea (similar to Illinois Center work
http://test.cita.illinois.edu/aria/toolbar/toolbar1.php), but after
selection of a part of the text, bold, italic properties are applied to all
text of the textarea, because textarea consider text as a unique entity.
This approach works on Internet Explorer and on Firefox browsers;

2)      Use of iframe (similar to this approach
), but this works only on Internet Explorer and not on Firefox; furthermore
sometimes this solution has “blocking curious behaviours”.

3)      Dijit editor widget
seems not so accessible.


Any ideas about it?


I will appreciate your answers.

Many thanks,






Eng. Giulio Mori


Institute for Informatics and Telematics (I.I.T.)


Italian National Research Council 



Via Moruzzi, 1

56124 PISA



(Building:  B - Room:  B67a)

Tel. +39 050 315 3507

Tel. +39 050 315 3458


Email: giulio.mori@iit.cnr.it


Received on Wednesday, 1 September 2010 10:27:57 UTC