This video demonstrates how ARIA landmark roles help screen reader users understand the purpose of different areas of a web page. ARIA landmark roles can be used to navigate through a page and easily identify the purpose of key areas such as navigation, search or main content.
Screen reader support for tables is something of a curiosity. Although tables are among the most common of HTML elements, they’re often misused and poorly coded. To some extent this has influenced screen reader support, but even so the variations in screen reader behaviour are quite remarkable.
Some while ago I was asked how screen readers handle disabled and read only form fields. Despite forms being commonplace on most websites, there’s remarkably little information available on the subject. It turns out that there’s also very little consistency in the way different screen readers behave either.
Jaws 11 public beta introduces support for drag and drop with WAI ARIA. Although Jaws has included desktop drag and drop capability for some while, the same functionality on a web page has always been more difficult. Jaws 11 now indicates which elements on the page can be dragged, and where they can be dropped.
Rich Internet Application (RIA) websites encourage people to generate content, collaborate online and make choices about the information they receive. Unsurprisingly, RIA websites can represent a considerable challenge for screen reader users. The WAI‘s Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA)is an emerging standard that aims to bridge the gap between RIA websites and screen reading technology.
Bruce Lawson recently asked whether adding rel=accessibility to the HTMl 5 specification was a good idea. Among the initial comments, Jared Smith noted that getting assistive technologies to support the idea might be a problem. For the major screen readers at least, I thought it could be easily solved though.