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Fw: [NVDA] #2390: NVDA doesn't handle role=dialog with supporting ARIA attributes according to spec


From: Bryan Garaventa
Date: May 29, 2012 11:19AM

I'm forwarding this in case any of you want to chime in. This is regarding
the bug at

According to NVDA, widget control types such as role=dialog require not just
an aria-label or aria-labelledby attribute, but also an aria-describedby
attribute. I'm not able to locate where this exists in the user agent spec
however, at

The problem is that this breaks the accessibility of complex widgets (see
below), and provides no recourse for preventing the announcement of
irrelevant text.

This also causes a break in Assistive Technology support by introducing
undocumented requirements that are specific only to one user agent, which
undermines the whole purpose of W3C standardization.

----- Original Message -----
Subject: Re: [NVDA] #2390: NVDA doesn't handle role=dialog with supporting
ARIA attributes according to spec

> #2390: NVDA doesn't handle role=dialog with supporting ARIA attributes
> according
> to spec
> -------------------------------+------------------------
> Reporter: bgaraventa | Owner:
> Type: defect | Status: new
> Priority: minor | Milestone:
> Component: Core | Version: 2012.2rc1
> Resolution: | Keywords: ARIA
> Operating system: Windows XP | Blocked by:
> Blocking: |
> -------------------------------+------------------------
> Comment (by bgaraventa):
> Can you help me out? I've been reading the spec, but I can't find where it
> says that user agents must parse both an aria-describedby attribute and an
> aria-label/aria-labelledby at the same time. Can you point me to where it
> says this?
> This is actually a really big problem. Take the following scenario for
> example.
> 1. There is a surrounding Div tag with role=dialog and aria-label="Choose
> Region".
> 2. Within this dialog is a listbox control with all of the countries in
> the world, which is surrounded by a Div tag with role=presentation.
> 3. When the dialog opens, focus is set on the listbox control to highlight
> the currently selected country.
> Now, since NVDA ignores role=presentation (which should cause NVDA to
> ignore all of this content when parsing alternative text according to the
> user agent specification), and NVDA will announce all of the content
> regardless what the label is explicitly set to, every country will be
> announced in addition to the dialog label before it gets around to
> announcing the currently selected country as expected.
> Also, since aria-describedby isn't documented in the user agent spec
> alongside the requirement for aria-label and aria-labelledby, this means
> that the same ARIA widgets will work differently and with varying
> accessibility across different Assistive Technologies, which would
> undermine the whole purpose of standardization.
> --
> Ticket URL: <http://www.nvda-project.org/ticket/2390#comment:6>;
> NVDA <http://www.nvda-project.org/>;
> A free and open-source screen reader for Windows