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Re: Does role="combobox" eat the identity of nested elements?


From: Steve Green
Date: Sep 10, 2019 3:40PM

There aren't any accessible patterns for comboboxes, and I am far from convinced that it is even possible with the current state of browsers and assistive technologies. I test every pattern I come across and they all have shortcomings. Some work adequately if you are in the right mode i.e. browse mode or forms mode, but they are terrible if you are in the wrong mode. Some work when you initially navigate to them, but do not work correctly when you return to them after making a selection.

I listed at least nine different means of interaction that need to be supported, such as which mode a screen reader is in when navigating to the combobox, whether or not a selection is made or changed, how the selection is made (e.g. spacebar or Enter key) and how you navigate away from the combobox (e.g. Tab key, Escape key etc.). Any viable pattern needs to work correctly with all of these means of interaction, but I have not found a pattern that comes close.

And all that needs to work properly before you can even start to think about embellishments such as autocomplete or making a selection by character key.

I tell all our clients to use native select elements and to live with the fact that some browsers won't allow you to style them the way you want. For the time being, there's no point trying to pretend there's another solution.


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Graham Armfield
Sent: 10 September 2019 20:24
To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Does role="combobox" eat the identity of nested elements?

Which of course begs the question...

If we're showing developers how an accessible combobox should be implemented, what accessible patterns are there out there - that work nicely for screen reader users through browsers and AT that are in use at the moment?

Graham Armfield

On Tue, 10 Sep 2019, 01:14 Steve Green, < <EMAIL REMOVED> >

> The ARIA 1.0 examples are equally terrible. Maybe they didn't used to
> be, but they are with current browsers and screen readers (and if my
> memory is correct, they always were).
> Steve