JAWS announces that an inline edit area is a button

E.J. Zufelt everett at zufelt.ca
Tue May 12 21:12:56 UTC 2009

The below suggestion may work.  Clearly any attempt to solve this  
problem i going to have some complication as we are trying to force  
technology to do something that it wasn't designed to do.

If someone want to throw together a quick example of an inline edit  
using this approach I'd be happy to assess it with a few screen-readers.


On 12-May-09, at 2:44 PM, Joseph Scheuhammer wrote:

> Hi all,
> Colin wrote:
>> At heart, the problem is that ARIA doesn't provide a suitable role  
>> for the kind of interaction provided by Inline Edit.
> It goes beyond ARIA.  There (probably)  isn't an  "Inline Edit" role  
> in any of the a11y APIs.  So, even if the role was added to ARIA, it  
> wouldn't do at lot of good until a11y APIs caught up.
> The reason for the "probably" is that there *may* be such a thing.   
> Consider that a11y APIs were created first for desktop apps.   
> Desktop icons have a label that acts like an inline edit.  It's  
> inert until the user clicks (double clicks) on it, and then becomes  
> active editable text.  Loss of focus or a "return" keystroke accepts  
> any changes, and the label returns to its inert state.
> What do a11y APIs have to say about that label?  I'll take a look at  
> some point.
> As a first pass, given that there isn't an inline edit role, how  
> does this look:
> <div role="textbox" aria-readonly="true" aria-pressed="false" aria- 
> labelledby="labelId" ...>
> where,
> - readonly + not-pressed indicate that it's in its inactive state.
> - clicking on or pressing return switches to aria-readonly="false" +  
> aria-pressed="true"; users can edit the contents.
> - clicking away, or pressing return, switches it back to its  
> readonly not-pressed state.
> Note that aria-pressed is a property of role="button" and was  
> introduced to handle toggle buttons.  At present it isn't a property  
> of role="textbox".  But, it kind of captures the dual state of an  
> inline edit box.
> I'm willing to take the suggestion to the PFWG if there isn't an  
> obvious flaw in this approach.
> -- 
> ;;;;joseph
> 'What did one snowman say to the other snowman?'
>            - "Adrift", D. Hume -
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