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Inappropriate navigation of buttons

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From: Vemaarapu Venkatesh
Date: Feb 23, 2017 10:40PM


Hi all, Greetings!

1. I have a group chat desktop application where there is a main navigation
side bar containing Activities, chats, contacts, settings etc as core
items. These items are buttons by design and the navigation is possible
with up/down arrow keys in sidebar once after focusing into side bar using
tab key. JAWS announces location for every button in side bar while
navigating through them. But I think it is deviating from the actual
standard that buttons should be navigable with tab key as they are
interactive elements. Though they are navigable with up/ down arrow keys
instead of tab key user is able to make out that there are few more buttons
in the sidebar listening to location "1of 7, 2 of 7 etc". Listening to
button role user always expect that they should be in tab order so I
suggested that side bar items should be navigable with tab key or change
the role to tab from button where tabs can be navigable with up/ down arrow
keys. Is it suggestable?
2. The app is completely accessible when user turns off virtual pc cursor
manually using Insert+Z which is not the actual way to access the
application. In default mode JAWS is not reading the elements in the app
while tabbing though they are focused. What might be the reason for this?
When we reported this client came up with the solution that they will add a
note in the help documentation of the app saying that "turn off virtual
cursor to use the app in accessible mode" something like that. But I think
this is not the apt solution. Is it recommendable?

Looking for your valuable comments on this and thank you for all the
expertise you people are sharing.

Thanks,
Venkatesh