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NVDA - aria-live=polite not announced


From: Tomlins Diane
Date: Feb 21, 2019 11:49AM

We have a health portal application (it's mostly a single-page app using Ember) and I do the accessibility testing for the developers. I primarily use Firefox and NVDA (ver 2018.4), and usually that's pretty reliable. Most of the developers, however, use Mac's with VoiceOver and we've run into this issue with aria-live - VoiceOver announces the message, NVDA does not for some reason.

The div that contains the message is present in the DOM to start with, it's only the text inside it that changes, in this particular section, it starts as:

<div id="readClinicalAlerts" aria-live="polite" class="sr-only">You are now viewing the health summary page.</div>

The steps then are:
1 - user is presented with a list of their health problems
2 - user selects a problem
3 - a modal opens up with a list of articles related to the selected problem
4- user selects an article from the list in the modal, the modal is dismissed and the article page is displayed
5 - The message in the div is changed from the above to this:

<div id="readClinicalAlerts" aria-live="polite" class="sr-only">You are now viewing the patient education page.</div>

Unfortunately, neither of the messages in the aria-live region is announced by NVDA. So, a sr user would have no idea the content has changed once the article is returned.

I've done quite a bit of digging around trying to see if I could figure out what is needed to get NVDA to reliably announce the change in the message, but I admit.. I'm a little lost. Would adding aria-atomic help? Clearly there's something we're missing :-/


Diane R Tomlins
HCA Healthcare ITG | UXCOE
Accessibility SME