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Re: JAWS 18 - safe to upgrade


From: Steve Green
Date: Jun 16, 2017 12:44AM

I have found two new issues with JAWS 18 that can render websites completely unusable under certain circumstances. I don't know how widespread this problem will be, but it has affected two of the three websites I have been testing in the last two weeks.

In one case, it appears that the problem is caused by a new heuristic that JAWS 18 is using. The other may also be a new heuristic or it may just be a bug. In both cases, JAWS 17 works fine.

The first issue occurs when a textbox or textarea is inside a <div> element that has any "aria" attribute or a "tabindex" attribute. JAWS concatenates all the text (including labels for other form controls) and uses it as the label for the textbox or textarea. This can be fixed by changing the <div> element to a <section> element.

The other issue requires two factors to occur. First, there needs to be a <label> element with no "for" attribute - obviously this should not happen but it seems to be quite common. Secondly, there needs to be a form control that does not have an explicit label. In the website I was testing, there was a JavaScript combobox replacement in which the options were list items with role="option", which was sufficient to cause this bug / behaviour. When these two factors occur, JAWS uses the contents of the <label> element as the label for the form controls even though they are completely unrelated. In my case it meant that all the options in the combobox appeared to be the same.

I have built trivially simple test pages to verify that these issues are not specific to my clients' websites. I am therefore surprised that I can't find any mention of them on the web, since they must affect a lot of websites.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Mallory
Sent: 10 June 2017 17:49
To: J. Isaac < <EMAIL REMOVED> >; WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] JAWS 18 - safe to upgrade

I had a large bug in 16 (where while the Dutch voice read out iframe content, the English voice acted as though the iframes weren't on the page at all!) which forced me to upgrade to 18. So far, the stuff I normally test is acting as expected, and I've had no crashes yet. With
16 it was not unusual for opening complex powerpoints (with mathML etc in them) and watching 16 slow to a crawl and then fall back to the default Dutch voice. 18 deals with these better, for me.


On Thu, Jun 8, 2017, at 08:10 PM, J. Isaac wrote:
> I haven't had any issues with Shaws 18 on the web. There are the
> standard Microsoft office issues though. Should be safe to upgrade.
> HTH,
> ==J
> > On Jun 8, 2017, at 9:01 AM, Andrews, David B (DEED) < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> >
> > Well this is a pretty subjective statement and like with most things in IT, it depends. I suspect there are multiple variables, like video, other software you are running etc. Personally, my observation is that JAWS 18 isn't more stable, or unstable then other recent releases. It has been a little unstable for a while, but it is also better at recovering from some situations. I have seen much more instability of late, in Internet Explorer 11, I have a lockup once a day or more. And ... Chrome and Firefox aren't perfect easier ... so what is a blind guy to do?
> >
> > Dave
> >
> > p.s. Upgrade one machine, and just try. I always leave one previous JAWS version, sometimes two, on all my machines at work, and at home!
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > David Andrews | Chief Technology Officer Minnesota Department of
> > Employment and Economic Development State Services for the Blind
> > 2200 University Ave West, Suite 240, St. Paul MN 55114
> > Direct: 651-539-2294
> > Web | Twitter | Facebook
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On
> > Behalf Of Meacham, Steve - FSA, Kansas City, MO
> > Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2017 4:34 PM
> > To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> > Subject: [WebAIM] JAWS 18 - safe to upgrade
> >
> > I'd heard many statements back when JAWS 18 was released that it wasn't stable and/or usable enough to upgrade to. Therefore we're still using/supporting JAWS 17. Have the issues been sufficiently addressed to commit to JAWS 18 yet?
> >
> > Steven Meacham, ICT Accessibility Program Manager USDA Farm Service
> > Agency
> > +1 (816) 926-1942<tel:+18169261942>
> > For program support email
> >
> > > > > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> > >
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives