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Jaws dropping the ball on ARIA landmarks?


From: Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Date: May 29, 2018 9:47AM

I recently upgraded to Jaws 2018 and noticed that most ARIA landmarks,
including the banner, contentinfo and region and complementary
landmarks, with or without an accessible name) , are now ignored.
I am seeing this in IE, Chrome and Firefox.
I will create an issue for this as a Beta Tester and in the Jaws web
compatibility bug tracker, but I think this is a large enough concern
that I should post it here for awareness and feedback.
One of my favorite Jaws features has been its handling of landmark
regions, announcing their beginning and end when pages are explored in
browse mode, enabling users to jump past them with the > key.
But in Jaws 2018 only the main region shows upin browse mode. Other
regions are available in the regions sortcut jawsKey-alt-r but are not
displayed in bows mode, including the banner and contentinfo.
This is a vastly inferior experience as the boundries of those regions
are not properly communicated this way, only the start, plus the
shortcut is not intuitive.

This makes landmark regions a lot less useful as a Jaws user navigation aid.
I know landmarks are amuch under utilized navigation aid for screen
reader users (I am concerned by this as they are much more consistent
than headers on wellformed pages and are an easy consistency indicator
to code (landmark region roles can generally be added to templates).

Whatever the reason, I think removing support for landmarks is not the
way to go.
I am hoping this is a bug, though I don't understand why such a bug
was not noticed and filed earlier. If it is a conscious decision I
think it needs to prompt a larger discussion of the purpose of
landmarks in general.

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