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Actionable roles vs behaviors


From: Lovely, Brian (CONT)
Date: Jun 19, 2017 11:14AM

Hey all,

For purposes of screen reader users, I use the rule of thumb that if an actionable element performs an action on the current page it should be a button element, and if an actionable element directs the browser to another URL, it should be a link element. This is to be followed regardless of how the element is styled. If an element is styled as a button-like lozenge, but still directs the browser to another URL, it should be (or at least announce and behave as) a link.

However, I was recently reminded of the fact that sighted users of software like Dragon Naturally Speaking, may see an element that looks like a button and expect to interact with it like they would a button.

These seem like two irreconcilable views. Anyone have any suggestions on how to think about this issue?

Brian Lovely
Digital Accessibility Team

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