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Button and textual equivalent


From: Lucy Greco
Date: Dec 5, 2014 2:21PM


I was hoping some one could help me answer this query. Below is some code
from a developer and a description of what they are doing and how we think
it might be fixed. My concerns are that the dev team working on this has
very limited access to the code and may not be able to do any of the things
we are recommending. I have tested with NVDA and JAWS and both have no
problem with this button so how should we proceed with our recommendations?

Note also the message from our testing tool is included.

Note from testing tool and code:

Button is missing a textual equivalent (on-screen text, title, or
image with alt attribute.

<button type="submit" class="btn btn-default" aria-label="search
button" value="Search"><span class="entypo search"></span></button>

Technically, I'm not sure if this is a violation or not. If it's a
violation, it's because the aria-label and value attributes don't count as
textual equivalents. I can see how that would be true - aria-label adds the
text to the accessibility tree, but it's not available if you're not
looking at the accessibility tree. The value attribute used to be what was
displayed as the text of the button (when it's coded as input type=submit),
but the new HTML5 button tag may work differently. Obviously they're not
displaying any text on this button, they're using a font icon.

If it is a violation, the solution could be either to add a title attribute
to the button, or to include some text within the button tag and put it
offscreen. As long as the keyboard focus works on the button itself, they
shouldn't need to show the text on focus. My recommendation would be to add
a title attribute. We should also test whether that means they can leave
off the aria-label.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Lucia Greco
Web Accessibility Evangelist
IST - Architecture, Platforms, and Integration
University of California, Berkeley
(510) 289-6008 skype: lucia1-greco
Follow me on twitter @accessaces