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Re: Navigation in HTML forms


From: Hadi Rangin
Date: Apr 28, 2009 11:10AM

I would like to thank everyone who responded to my question.
I was expecting that you would support the use of header element in the
survey especially in large surveys to provide a mechanism to navigate
between questions but apparently not everyone is with me on the same page.

I don't know but arrowing down in a large survey with 384 questions is not
an option for me considering the fact that everything is linearized in the
screen reader view and there will be a huge amount of the text to go over if
I have to read line by line.

And Dave, I don't understand when you say
> I would tend to just down arrow quickly, as I
> wouldn't necessarily know how far I had to go or skip.

Exactly the use of header element with questions texts could help here. Just
consider, you are reading question 4 and you decide to skip it, using your
screen reader header navigation command, you can easily skip the question 4
and land on the next question.

As I mentioned in my original e-mail, our goal is to improve our Web Best
Practices at http://html.cita.uiuc.edu
I know that many developers won't follow the Best Practices but what I
wanted to learn was indeed the use of header element with question text in a
survey is a Best Practice and we should not confuse it with our personal

Thanks again,

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Andrews" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
To: "WebAIM Discussion List" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 5:56 PM
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Navigation in HTML forms

>I am a screen reader user -- and I wouldn't tend to use header
> navigation in surveys. This is primarily because surveys are
> generally one off things, that is, I do it, and am done, so may not
> be that familiar with it. That makes me less likely to use larger
> navigation jumps -- I would tend to just down arrow quickly, as I
> wouldn't necessarily know how far I had to go or skip.
> Dave
> At 10:37 AM 4/21/2009, you wrote:
>>For many years we have been recommending to use fieldset/legend elements
>>make radio buttons and check boxes accessible. With this technique you
>>associate each
>>radio or checkbox item with the proper legend element so a screen reader
>>user always knows what group of radio or checkbox items he is dealing
>>so far so good.
>>On the other hand, I have been recommending to make the question surveys a
>>heading (h2-h6) especially in large surveys. This would allow screen
>>users to navigate easily between questions and/or skip selected questions
>>using screen reader heading navigation function.
>>Here's the problem:
>>Apparently, HTMl does not allow the use of header elements inside or
>>the legend element so I can't not make my radio or checkbox question a
>>heading in the form. See the question 3 and 4 at:
>>If they were using ordered list for the survey questions, there wouldn't
>>a strong need to make the questions a heading because screen reader
>>offer a good navigation mechanism for lists; question numbering is hard
>>coded and are not coming from OL.
>>Here's my questions and I would be thankful if you share your feedback
>>me and/or the group.
>>1. How many of you in particular screen reader users use the heading
>>navigation in a mid-size or large surveys.
>>2. Do you consider making survey questions a heading as a Best Practice
>>mid-size or large HTML forms?
>>Note that in large surveys you might need to skip one or a set of survey
>>questions so you need a mean to easily jump over selected questions.