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Re: Wai Aria how useful?

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From: Léonie Watson
Date: Jul 27, 2010 10:39AM


"Why would you consider user testing with a screen reader that is not yet widely used to be useful? I agree that NVDA has better support for ARIA at this time than the main stream screen readers. But using NVDA for user testing for visually impaired users would be like relying on Arora as your browser for user testing for non-disabled users."

NVDA is rapidly growing in popularity. Whilst it lacks some of the functionality that other screen readers provide, it's increasingly used as a backup option and in time I think we'll see it gain primary ground as well.

Jaws is undoubtedly the most popular primary option, but the Webaim survey reports that 49% of people use more than one screen reader. Of the alternatives, NVDA is the most popular with nearly 26% of people choosing it.
http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey2/



Regards,
Léonie.

--
Nomensa - humanising technology

Léonie Watson | Director of Accessibility
t. +44 (0)117 929 7333


-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of <EMAIL REMOVED>
Sent: 27 July 2010 14:36
To: <EMAIL REMOVED>
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Wai Aria how useful?

Why would you consider user testing with a screen reader that is not yet widely used to be useful? I agree that NVDA has better support for ARIA at this time than the main stream screen readers. But using NVDA for user testing for visually impaired users would be like relying on Arora as your browser for user testing for non-disabled users.

Mike Moore
(512) 424-4159


-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Birkir Rúnar Gunnarsson
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2010 5:21 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Wai Aria how useful?

This is true, and this is why I think usability testing, in general, should be done with NVDA rather than with the commercial screen readers, or, at least, alongside the major screen readers.
I am very impressed with the NVDA performance, especially in this area.
Cheers
-B

On 7/26/10, Patrick H. Lauke < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> also worth mentioning yahoo!'s YUI work there
>
> --
> Patrick H. Lauke
>
>
> On 26 Jul 2010, at 21:39, "Hoffman, Allen" < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
>
>> Just curious:
>> Dojo and Jquery are the two always named sets of building blocks
>> which include ARIA.
>> Of the set of similar building blocks, is this 2% 50% or what?
>> This proliferation of such building block sets which may or may not
>> include easy use of accessibility features seems to be a real
>> challenge to me.
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Birkir Rúnar Gunnarsson [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
>> Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2010 6:43 PM
>> To: WebAIM Discussion List
>> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Wai Aria how useful?
>>
>> Steve
>>
>> Thanks very much for all the info.
>> Like I said I am fairly new to all of this and it appears I
>> misunderstood a few things, but I am all too happy to be corrected
>> and will start with the pointers in your post for further research.
>> The screen reader ownership survey surprises me though, it may be
>> location specific, because I know the situation in a few countries in
>> Europe and the user SR ownership seems to differ from this survey, so
>> it is a good thing.
>> I will post back with questions/comments after I update my knowledge
>> some. *grin* Cheers -B
>>
>> On 7/22/10, Steven Faulkner < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
>>> hi birkir,
>>>
>>> you wrote:
>>> "You definitely cannot expect your users to be so up-to-date given
>>> the price of upgrades..."
>>>
>>> The webaim screen readers survey differs from your conclusion
>>>
>>> "The vast majority of respondents updated their primary screen
>>> reader within the previous year."
>>> http://www.webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey2/#demographics
>>>
>>>
>>> you wrote:
>>> "Another issue is clashes between screen reader key strokes while
>>> navigating a web page and assigned Aria keyboard shortcuts. "
>>>
>>> There are no "ARIA keyboard shortcuts" as such:
>>> The set of keyboard shortcuts defined for use in Google Reader has
>>> NOTHING to do with ARIA.
>>>
>>> What ARIA promotes is the implementation of keyboard interactions
>>> for widgets that are the same or similar to those of controls in
>>> desktop software applications
>>>
>>> "The model for keyboard support for Web 2.0 widgets are graphical
>>> user
>>>> interface (GUI) operating systems like Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X;
>>>> and other desktop operating systems like GNOME and GTK. "
>>>
>>> http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/aria-practices/#kbd_generalnav
>>>
>>> There is an ongoing effort to specify keyboard keystrokes to be used
>>> for web based controls:
>>> http://dev.aol.com/dhtml_style_guide
>>>
>>> These keyboard interaction best practices are being implemented in
>>> javascript UI libraries such as DOJO and JQUERY so that users can
>>> rely upon the same or similar keystrokes being usable on for
>>> example a 'button'
>>> regardless of whether its a native HTML button <button> or a button
>>> built from divs and spans with added script to provide the user interaction.
>>>
>>>> Another issue is clashes between screen reader key strokes while
>>>> navigating a web page and assigned Aria keyboard shortcuts. The
>>>> application element is supposed to turn off screen reader key
>>>> functionality but this does not always seem to work properly
>>>
>>> There is no clash per se, when in document reading mode, most key
>>> strokes are consumed by the AT, this is why most windows based AT
>>> have a special mode for interacting with native controls on web
>>> pages, which allows keystrokes to be passed to the browser rather than consumed by the AT.
>>> ARIA
>>> extends this method to the custom controls built using a combination
>>> of HTML/scripting and CSS.
>>>
>>> The use of role="application" on an element indicates to AT that
>>> support it they should switch from document to application mode (so
>>> users can interact with controls using the keyboard). It is true
>>> that it sometimes does not work, but i would suggest it is no more
>>> or less buggy than many of the other features in popular commercial
>>> screen readers.
>>>
>>> you wrote:
>>> "/basically, yopu have to expect not all users can use Aria and even
>>> for those who can, a lot of thought needs to go in to the key
>>> mapping and you must ensure that the user can access a simple
>>> keyboard help overview in a convenient format somehow (perhaps have
>>> it downloadable as a .txt file or plain html page that opens in a new window or tab)."
>>>
>>> again what you are talking about has nothing to do with ARIA, in
>>> fact it is the opposite:
>>> The use of ARIA on custom controls provides users with information
>>> about the role/state and properties of the control which typically
>>> results in the AT providing hints about how to interact with the
>>> control.
>>>
>>> Tests and examples of what AT report when ARIA roles are encountered:
>>> http://www.paciellogroup.com/blog/aria-tests/user-input-widgets.html
>>> note these results are from 18 months ago.
>>>
>>> Regards
>>> Stevef
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> 2010/7/22 Birkir Rúnar Gunnarsson < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
>>>
>>>> There are a few inherent problems with Aria.
>>>> To use it I believe that you need Firefox 3.5 or newer, IE8. As for
>>>> screen readers I think it is Jaws 10 and above, Window Eyes 7 and
>>>
>>> above and Hal/Dolphin 11.2 and above (NVDA does a good job of
>>>> recognizing Aria).
>>>> You definitely cannot expect your users to be so up-to-date given
>>>> the price of upgrades and relatively lousy set of improvements at
>>>> least in Jaws lately (no bashing intended, Ijust feel that upgrades
>>>> from Jaws 9 have hardly been worth it).
>>>> Another issue is clashes between screen reader key strokes while
>>>> navigating a web page and assigned Aria keyboard shortcuts. The
>>>> application element is supposed to turn off screen reader key
>>>> functionality but this does not always seem to work properly (I
>>>> will admit I lack expertees in this area, I am looking at it but
>>>> this was discussed at length at the ICCHP conference I just attended).
>>>> Thus a screen reader user must pass every keysroke to an Aria page
>>>> through the screen reader by using the designed pass through key,
>>>> and that is a relatively advanced operation (or rather, having the
>>>> user recognize the need to do this is fairly advanced, one has to
>>>> understand what type of page is being encounterred and what that
>>>> means for navigation).
>>>> Even if both of these issues are resoled and you have a user with
>>>> compatible SR and browser and the switching off works, there is
>>>> still a worrying lack of standards regarding keyboard mapping of
>>>> aria elements, which means the user has to continually return to
>>>> some type of on page help to see what keystrokes are required for
>>>> what action (See GoogleReader as an example).
>>>> These help messages do not (perhaps cannot) appear in a virtual
>>>> buffer, meaning it is hard to copy them and recall them in a text
>>>> document, so you have to kepp clicking on some type of help /
>>>> overview on the page that tells you the functionality of each key stroke.
>>>> There is a brilliant video demo about this, I will post it if I
>>>> manage to dig it up from my conference lecture notes, which I will
>>>> have time for over the weekend.
>>>> /basically, yopu have to expect not all users can use Aria and even
>>>> for those who can, a lot of thought needs to go in to the key
>>>> mapping and you must ensure that the user can access a simple
>>>> keyboard help overview in a convenient format somehow (perhaps have
>>>> it downloadable as a .txt file or plain html page that opens in a new window or tab).
>>>> Hope some of these thoughts help, plesae keep us updated and I will
>>>> post back once I have sorted out my notes.
>>>> Cheers
>>>> -B
>>>>
>>>> On 7/22/10, Seth Kane < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
>>>>> I have had little to no luck with ARIA unless you have the latest
>>>>> and
>>>> great
>>>>> version of both browsers and screen readers. It isn't ready for
>>>>> the
>>>> lowest
>>>>> common denominator just yet. Maybe HTML5 will be better.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Seth Kane
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: <EMAIL REMOVED>
>>>>> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of
>>>>> <EMAIL REMOVED>
>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:13 PM
>>>>> To: WebAIM Discussion List
>>>>> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Wai Aria how useful?
>>>>>
>>>>> Nancy Johnson wrote:
>>>>>> How useful is WAI Aria to the average screen reader user who may
>>>>>> not be technically inclined?
>>>>>
>>>>> It depends on what version of a screenreader and browser they
>>>>> have. With JAWS 11 + Firefox 3, for example, live regions get
>>>>> announced in ways that some people find helpful (depending on how
>>>>> well they have encoded).
>>>>>
>>>>>> Does this also help the mobility impaired user who is not
>>>>>> visually impaired?
>>>>>
>>>>> I have found that there are circumstances in which ARIA navigation
>>>>> changes the way the wonderful Firefox add-on Mouseless Browsing
>>>>> interacts with a webpage in a way that gives me more control over
>>>>> Ajax drop-down menus. I haven't narrowed it down to exactly what
>>>>> features make things better, but I've been meaning to.
>>>>>
>>>>> -deborah
>>>>>