FLUID-3671 Screen reader a11y and usability issues with Progress (esp. lack of feedback for screen reader users)

Colin Clark colinbdclark at gmail.com
Tue Sep 21 15:47:49 UTC 2010


Justin, Golam, and I chatted further about these issues in the IRC channel today. Here's the log of our conversation:


We're hoping to identify an implementation that can provide a decent user experience, so we're going to compare a few other screen readers to see how they perform. Golam is playing around with Orca now, and we'll also take a look at the latest version of JAWS.

The takeaway from this investigation so far, I think, seems to be that the implementation of ARIA's progress bar role is pretty buggy in most current screen readers. We may also want to consider some additional labelling or graceful degradation support to make this work even with older, buggier ATs. 

Any advice or suggestions?


On 2010-09-20, at 4:49 PM, Chowdhury, Golam wrote:

> Hey Guys,
> Issues with Screen Reader:
> Current progress bar does not announce the progress bar status when using NVDA2010 screen reader using Fire Fox 3.5.9 and 3.6.9.
> http://issues.fluidproject.org/browse/FLUID-3671
> During our testing we have found two options. Option one using aria-valuenow and option two using aria-live. Following I have outlined the pros and cons for both of the options.
> Option one using aria-valuenow:
> Pros:
> -Just need to comment out the aria-valuetext
> -Works in all cases
> -Behaves similar to other progress indicators
> -Doesn't buffer
> Cons:
> -Not descriptive in JAWS
> -Jaws doesn't announce completion
> Option two using aria-live:
> Pros:
> -Descriptive
> -Announce all progress states
> -Works in all cases
> Cons:
> -More code to add
> -Buffer announcements (will keep announcing progress after complete)
> -Behavior different then standard progress indicators
> I prefer option one because of adding less code for our workaround and it works in most cases. Later on when NVDA fixes their issues with aria-valuetext then this will be a small code fix.  I am attaching all the test cases I have tried. Any suggestion is welcome.
> Thanks,
> Golam

Colin Clark
Technical Lead, Fluid Project

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