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Re: Slightly OT: understanding screen reader interaction with Jquery select elements


From: Bryan Garaventa
Date: Jun 6, 2016 12:12AM

Unfortunately there is no tool in NVDA that allows this type of detection, but if you have the ability to use JAWS however, then yes this is possible.

E.G You can use BX to access the Accessibility Tree to examine the dimensions of the rendered objects there, plus much else besides.

If you have no idea what the Accessibility Tree is, or why this is important, you can get a quick overview by reading the PDF in the GitHub download at

So the simplest way for a totally blind person to view the Accessibility Tree, is to use a JAWS script called BX, which is a developer toolkit written by Doug Lee.

The installer for this can be downloaded at
(Which should be installed while JAWS is running)

The BX User's Guide is available at

So, to make this work, first download and install BX.

Then, BX can be activated using the standard Home Row command in JAWS (Windows+Insert+NumPadMinus), or by pressing Insert+Space twice.

Now you can view the Accessibility Tree using JAWS. This works within web pages or outside of them within any native software control. Also this works within web controls using IE, Firefox, and Chrome.

1. Start BX.

2. Press the Apostrophe key (') to open the list of available maps.

3. Press M to open the MSAA Map, or U to open the UIA Map. (Some of the below keystrokes may vary depending on which map is being used)

4. Press Control+F to move BX to the object that has focus, or Control+P to move BX to the object at the current cursor location.

5. Now you can examine the various MSAA or UIA properties that determine accessibility, such as the following:
Press R to hear the object Role.
Press N to hear the object Name.
Press S to hear the object State.
Press D to hear the object Description.
Press V to hear the object Value.
Press L or Shift+L to hear the object dimensions.
And so on. Just press Tab and Shift+Tab to review additional options within each map.

It would be great if NVDA provided something similar, but this is a lot to ask, since I believe Doug has been working on this project for over ten years now.

All the best,

Bryan Garaventa
Accessibility Fellow
SSB BART Group, Inc.
415.624.2709 (o)

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Alex Hall
Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2016 5:03 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: [WebAIM] Slightly OT: understanding screen reader interaction with Jquery select elements

Hi list,
This is slightly off topic, possibly, but if anyone will know, it will be people here. I was told last week by a sighted person that the two select lists in my form don't close when you click outside of them (likely explaining why onChange never fires). What I'm wondering, though, is how I could ever have known that. I use NVDA, and it seems to interact with select lists just fine; it reads the options as I arrow, and reads the selected option when I tab over it again. I never knew there was a problem.
In fact, the collapsed list is a visual blank, but NVDA reads an option for me, so I didn't know that was a problem either.

Visually, how do these things usually work? Do users click them, click the option, and click outside of them? Do they collapse on their own when they blur? It seems that Jquery messes with the normal setup for these, so I'll have to re-create it, but I don't know exactly what to re-create. Thanks for any explanations, and I hope this has made sense.

Alex Hall
Automatic Distributors, IT department