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Re: Are fieldset and legend still relevant?


From: Joy Relton
Date: Dec 30, 2014 6:01AM

Hi all,

As a JAWS user myself, I suggest the following for consideration

Pages and code should be written and tested with beginner settings, the goal
is to code so that persons with disabilities can access all of the
information, not to test the level of proficiency in the use of assistive

The conformance with guidelines or standards should not be measured by the
performance of one assistive technology. Since I am writing this one-handed
due to the temporary disability of one hand being sprained, I am envious of
those with speech recognition. Unless things have chaned significantly, a
user of speech recognition cannot access and use forms which do not convey
both the information conveyed by the fieldset and the legend.

-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Birkir R.
Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2014 7:14 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Are fieldset and legend still relevant?

Hi Lynn

It depends how you construct the aria-label I would say.
The relevant pieces of info user needs to ahve access to are the labels for
the individual fields as well as the common label for the group of fields.
How would you code a gender radiobutton set for instance?
User would want to hear
"gender male"
"gender female"
or at least hear the word "gender" on the first radiobutton, the one that
has focus, right?
Generally I would recommend fieldset with legend "gender" and two
radiobuttons labeled "male" and "female".
If for whatever reason that is not possible I would just construct an aria
<div role="group" aria-labelledby="gender">
<h3 id="gender">Gender</h3>
<label for "gm">Male</label>
<input type="radio" name="rbgender" id="gm"> <label for
"gm=f">Female</label> <input type="radio" name="rbgender" id="gf"> </div>

You could construct an aria-label and add the legend text to one or more of
the radiobuttons.
It would communicate the same info.
The risk with aria-labels in general is that they are invisible and I often
see developers being sloppy and making typos that do not get caught by their
QA teams.

I think the Jaws setting is honestly a bit weird.
Users can be extra super power users with Jaws, but they still cannot guess
what a common legend for a fieldset or a tooltip is on a page
(aria-describedby values are not read by Jaws with verbosity set to
The verbosity setting is not even set for the browser specifically, it is
the global setting.
I think FS should fix this.
I digress. ;)
In short, yes, fieldset/legends are still important to me, though there are
ways one could work around it and code the legend into the labels.

On 12/30/14, Lynn Holdsworth < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'm just going through WebAIM's invaluable list of checkpoints, and
> found this one under 1.3.1: Info and relationships:
> * Text labels are associated with form input elements. Related form
> elements are grouped with fieldset/legend.
> Rather than using fieldset and legend to group form elements, for a
> while now I've been using CSS and ARIA labels.
> Fieldsets were always pretty flaky with screenreaders. I have my JAWS
> setting set to advanced, and so legends don't get read out as I tab
> through the elements inside a fieldset. But ARIA labels do. And they
> get read out in the order that the developer deems most sensible.
> If I use both legends and ARIA labels, some users must listen to the
> labels twice, sometimes once before and once after the info about the
> element with focus, which could get pretty confusing for beginners.
> I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one.
> Cheers, Lynn
> > > list messages to <EMAIL REMOVED>

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