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NVDA and auto-switching of reading modes


From: Joe Chidzik
Date: Nov 20, 2015 3:20AM

Hi all,

I've reviewed a page that makes use of an overlay. Focus is managed well, and the overlay works well with JAWS 16IE11.

When the overlay is opened, the dialog title is announced, and the focus is set to the overlay close button. At this point, arrowing down with JAWS will proceed to read through the overlay contents as expected. NVDA however, is switched into focus mode on opening the overlay (presumably by the focus being set to a control of type=button). As such, arrowing down simply scrolls the page, and does not read the overlay contents. It is necessary to toggle to browse mode via alt+space in order to start reading through the overlay.

I've raised this as a failure, but this comes down to user awareness. The only indication that the screenreader will have switched modes is the announcement of a button being selected which implies NVDA is in focus mode. Not being a native screenreader user, I don't know whether it is a reasonable assumption that allmanysome screenreader users will hear button being announced, and instinctively know to toggle back into browse mode to continue reading.

I can see to potentially resolve this would be to simply change the button to a link, which shouldn't invoke focus mode, but don't want to suggest this if it is not necessary.

So, question: Will screenreader users, by and large, be generally aware of toggling focus modes if something, like arrowing down to read content, isn't working?



Joe Chidzik
Senior Accessibility & Usability Consultant | AbilityNet | www.abilitynet.org.uk<;http://www.abilitynet.org.uk/>;

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