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


From: Graham Armfield
Date: Sep 11, 2019 8:02AM

One ideal solution to all this would be for browsers and AT to support 1)
extending existing elements, and 2) to actually get behind the newer HTML5
elements. Two examples:

1) Using the native <select> element gives a good accessible experience,
but it's a pain to style nicely. It also will not support the <option>
elements containing anything but text. This is why developers and designers
search for a customized listbox solution.

If that restriction were relaxed a bit and other elements could be
contained within the <option> elements - eg thumbnail images of flags for a
currency converter - then devs and designers could have styled controls
with inherent accessibility without having to mess about with javascript
and ARIA.

2) HTML5 introduced the <datalist> element that can be used with textboxes.
The theory (I believe) is that this can work like a combobox where the user
can type a couple of characters and a filtered list of options can be shown.

If this element were better supported by browsers and AT then the need for
complex accessible ARIA patterns would substantially disappear as the
native browser functionality could take care of everything.

But I guess chicken and egg sums it up.

Graham Armfield
Coolfields Consulting