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Re: Accessible, flexible select box

for

From: Isabel Holdsworth
Date: Jan 30, 2019 4:41AM


Hi Sean,

That's a major piece of work you guys have done! It works pretty well
in Chrome with JAWS too.

With respect, two reasons why I wouldn't advocate its use from an
accessibility perspective:

1. The custom select identifies itself as an edit field even though
it's not editable. There's plenty of information available for
screenreader users about how to navigate and select its content, but
being a purist I'm still uncomfortable about using elements that
identify as one form field type but behave like another. Do you know
if a selection can be made using speech input technologies such as
Dragon Naturally Speaking?

2. Using VoiceOver on iOS, I wasn't able to make a selection, nor even
in desperation enter any content into a field that identified itself
as an edit box. If this element were part of a form that I was filling
in on my phone, and the field was required, I wouldn't be able to
complete the form.

Very nice work, but IMO it needs a few tweaks to be considered accessible.

The search continues...

Cheers, Isabel

On 29/01/2019, Sean Curtis < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> Hi Isabel,
>
> I helped improve the accessibility of the recent v2 release of react-select
> (https://react-select.com). Native selects are great up to a certain point:
> more than a couple of hundred options, especially when those options contain
> similar entries (like users with the same name) and the experience goes down
> the toilet.
>
> When digging into making this component accessible we initially went full
> semantics and aria. It felt “right”, but we hit a wall after getting the
> simple stuff working. Things like aria-posinset/setsize just didn’t announce
> consistently, activedescendant was promising but AT support was extremely
> patchy, announcing a loading state when fetching new options after typing
> had no real aria attribute (aria-loading sounded right but didn’t do what it
> says on the box). The examples I’ve seen worked for selecting single values
> too, not for handling multi selects. We tried a mix of aria roles and live
> regions, but things got a bit muddled. It was difficult to predict things
> from a dev perspective.
>
> We ended up using live regions (we had to have 2 to reliably announce
> things, and this seems a common approach). The live region approach is the
> same route we took for react-beautiful-dnd, which is an incredibly
> performant yet also accessible drag-and-drop library. It’s the same approach
> that the Downshift Select component uses also. Having one
> approach/implementation made it very straightforward to develop and test.
> This is very important for ongoing maintainability and avoiding regressions.
>
> The downside is that as a dev you now need to provide internationalized
> strings for the various prompts — not a huge ask but it’s something you’d
> get for free if you were just using html+aria. It was a trade off we were
> happy with.
>
> I believe there are some mobile optimized styles and touch interactions for
> react-select out of the box. It’s highly customizable as well (you can
> replace various components within it).
>
> Have a go and let me know how it performs. We’re building upon it for our
> design system components at Atlassian and it’s been a solid choice. It’s
> open source so fixing it is just a PR away :)
>
> Cheers,
>
> Sean
>
>> On 30 Jan 2019, at 3:53 am, glen walker < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
>>
>> Here are a few useful blogs:
>>
>> Short note on the accessibility of styled form controls
>> <https://developer.paciellogroup.com/blog/2018/07/short-note-on-the-accessibility-of-styled-form-controls/>
>> Inclusive Considerations When Restyling Form Controls
>> <https://24ways.org/2018/inclusive-considerations-when-restyling-form-controls/>
>> Accessible Styled Form Controls
>> <https://scottaohara.github.io/a11y_styled_form_controls/src/select/>
>> Styling a Select Like It’s 2019
>> <https://www.filamentgroup.com/lab/select-css.html>
>>
>> However, most of them talk about the native <select> element as a combobox
>> and not as a listbox.
>>
>> Glen
>> >> >> >> > > > > >