ARIA and MathML in screenreaders

My action item from today's meeting was to try out Deyan's clever ARIA
encoding on NVDA and JAWS. I tried this on the document in Firefox (which
JAWS has a bit less support for).

NVDA: it reads the labels when tabbing to the math (e.g., "binomial a b").
I couldn't get any other functionality (e.g. descriptions) to trigger.
There was nothing in the NVDA manual about hearing "descriptions" and a
"what's new in NVDA" page lists (back in 2017) "Improved support for
control descriptions provided on web pages in Internet Explorer 11
(specifically, support for aria-describedby within iframes and when
multiple IDs are provided). (#5784)". Note the mention of "control
descriptions" when reading what I write below.

JAWS: (this is from a 2019 version of JAWS) it reads the labels when
tabbing to the math (says the short "a" sound so I was briefly confused).
JAWS does have a way to read aria-describedby (or at least I think it does
INSERT-alt-r), but I couldn't get it to do anything in the math.

I came across this article on support for aria-label, labeled-by, and
in various screenreaders. This is from ~Sept 2018 (date of tweet author
references), so it may or may not reflect current reality. If it does
reflect reality, that's a bit worrisome.

The author points to one of the ARIA specs which says "The accessible name
is the name of a *user interface* element" and "An accessible description
provides additional information, related to an *interface *element, that
complements the accessible name." (italics added be me). The examples given
are interactive elements such as buttons.I have to admit I was surprised by
this as I thought ARIA labels were meant to compute a name for all
elements. In reading the tweets, aria-lablel in fact do the computation on
all elements, but ARIA doesn't say anything about AT needing to use those

One maybe positive from this is that it seems that what AT does with the
aria labels is up to the AT, so potentially means this means if we need
some math-specific handling of them, it is not breaking some general
handling since using them seems tag-specific.



Received on Friday, 16 July 2021 00:03:23 UTC