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RE: JAWS and online forms question


From: Miller, Lisa F. (LMS)
Date: Feb 24, 2003 6:26AM


The link you included is very similar to the page we are building:
http://www.ma.doe.gov/energy/web.html. We are reproducing an official
government form on the web, and must retain all the information available on
the original form, so we do not have the option to condense any of the text
- it is required to look as much like the paper form as possible. The site
is required to be 508 compliant, which has been defined by the client as
being JAWS complient.

We would like to make the site as 'usable' as possible, but finding 508
compliant examples which do more than a 'Contact Me' page has been
difficult. If anyone could point me to any good sites, especially in
regards to complex forms, it would be most appreciated. I have passed the
suggestions from this forum on to the programmer, and hope to get some
feedback from him today or tomorrow.

Thanks for your help,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andrew Kirkpatrick [SMTP: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
> Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2003 9:53 PM
> Subject: Re: JAWS and online forms question
> Lisa,
> This is a good example of a usability problem for people using assistive
> technology. The information is
> accessible - the user could get it if he knew it was there, but your
> testing is indicating that a problem exists
> and that is worth listening to.
> You could either take the suggestion to use fieldset and legend, or you
> could indicate somehow that
> additional information for a particular input is available in the label.
> If you indicated at the top of the form at
> an asterisk in the label indicates additional information about the input
> is available just above the input, it
> might work for some users, but you'll probably get lots of junky data from
> people who don't understand what
> is going on or use the additioanl info.
> If you are talking about a form like the one at:
> http://www.ma.doe.gov/energy/web.html
> (which seems to fit your description), I don't think that the extra text
> would be necessary if the labels on the
> inputs were more descriptive. I don't believe that I could complete this
> form successfully - there is extra
> text, but I don't get what I'm supposed to enter into the form.
> If you send the list a link to a sample page, I'm sure you'd get lots of
> advice.
> Andrew
> 2/20/2003 4:34:51 PM, "Miller, Lisa F. (LMS)" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> wrote:
> >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
> >
> >
> >----
> >To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
> >visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/
> >
> >
> Andrew
> --
> Andrew Kirkpatrick
> CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media
> 125 Western Ave.
> Boston, MA 02134
> Web site: ncam.wgbh.org
> ----
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