JAWS announces that an inline edit area is a button

Alison Benjamin radiocontrolled at gmail.com
Tue May 12 14:01:06 UTC 2009


Another issue that's come out of testing with JAWS users is that the inline
edit area is a button. The jira is:
http://issues.fluidproject.org/browse/FLUID-2652  The problems are:

- JAWS announces that an inline edit area is a button. Only *after* a user
presses ENTER does JAWS announce that you can type in text.
- no indication about how to make or save an edit
- no indication that an edit is successful
- the JAWS virtual buffer needs to be refreshed or the user will not be able
to see the changes made.

To my mind, two things are going on here. Firstly, there is the issue of
whether the Inline Edit should have a button role or a textbox role. (This
issue was also discussed in this thread last year:
http://www.mail-archive.com/fluid-work@fluidproject.org/msg00866.html and
button was used. )

A button is not a user input (http://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria/#button) but it
supports the "aria-pressed" state which could be promising. On the other
hand a textbox  (http://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria/#textbox)  could have the
"aria-readonly" property set to false.

The other issue is how a user gets information about how to use the Inline
Edit. For example if it's a button the user does not expect that clicking on
it will mean an editable area will occur. Maybe there is a way to hide
information about how to interact with Inline Edit. A user doesn't
necessarily want to read instructions before they interact with a page.
Ideally as they use the page, it should become apparent how they can
interact with it.

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