JAWS announces that an inline edit area is a button
colin.clark at utoronto.ca
Tue May 12 17:08:51 UTC 2009
On 12-May-09, at 11:36 AM, Michael S Elledge wrote:
> This is an excellent discussion. It sounds like designating the
> Inline Edit as a textbox role could make the most sense.
I don't think this is a such a clear-cut issue. At heart, the problem
is that ARIA doesn't provide a suitable role for the kind of
interaction provided by Inline Edit. Here are the characteristics it
1. It's activatable. You click it--or hit Enter or Spacebar on it--and
it will do something.
2. It's alternately viewable and editable. In some cases, it
represents a form field in which you can edit text.
Neither the button nor the read-only textfield roles encompass both of
these behaviours. With a button role, there's no indication of what
happens when you actually activate the button. With a text field role,
there's no indication that you have to do something to make it editable.
Ultimately, this is a limitation of the role-based approach used by
MSAA, ARIA, and assistive technologies. In the long run, I'd like to
see the assistive technology APIs use a "characteristic-based" style,
in which you can mark up a user interface with the various interaction
styles it uses. But this is way off in the future. In the meantime,
perhaps the button role is the best compromise, along with some
instructional text (aria-labelledby, maybe?) to explain the
interaction to the user.
Technical Lead, Fluid Project
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, University of Toronto
More information about the fluid-work