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RE: JAWS and online forms question

for

From: Hoffman, David
Date: Feb 21, 2003 1:00PM


Lisa,

Welcome to the world of Complex HTML Forms!

I have coined the phrase "Complex HTML Forms" to describe HTML forms that
include instructions and examples, in addition to controls and questions.
The addition of instructions and examples do not present challenges for
visual users, who visually scan such information. However, screen readers
require explicit association between controls, labels, instructions and
examples. How can we provide all appropriate information, while empowering
the user to skip over any of the information at will? Is it reasonable to
expect JAWS users to enter and exit Forms Mode at every control, in a page
that is nothing more than a form? I have considered issues presented by such
complex forms, various options for handling them, and the pros and cons of
various options. I have not yet had the time to begin documenting these
concepts. (

Take care,
David

-----Original Message-----
From: Miller, Lisa F. (LMS) [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2003 4:35 PM
To: Web AIM Forum (E-mail)
Subject: JAWS and online forms question


We are developing an online form, and are having problems navigating thru
the from with JAWS. There are a number of labeled input fields, which each
have text instructions preceeding them, such as:

===
This is a long instruction on how to correctly fill out field 1, plus any
reference information which might be needed.

Field1 Label: ___________

This is a long instruction on how to correctly fill out field 2, plus any
reference information which might be needed.

Field2 Label: ____________

===

When our tester navigates this page with JAWS, the instructions lines are
skipped because it is navigating thru the input fields only - to get the
text, he has to change modes, which a blind person would not know to do -
there is no indication to the user that the text is there.

Right now the page is built with one set of FORM tags - is there any way,
other than wrapping each individual input field with its own FORM tag, to
get JAWS to read the instruction text? We are debating placing the text
into read only textareas, but this would not be our first choice. Has
anyone else ran across this - maybe already solved this for us?

Thanks,

Lisa F. Miller
BWXT Y-12 - Technical Computing
Email: <EMAIL REMOVED>


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