WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: Landmarks


From: Guy Hickling
Date: Jan 14, 2020 1:38PM

On the one hand, adding the role attributes causes the double announcements
you mention; not terribly important but it does detract from a clean
rendition of the page. It also complicates the markup for developers, and
we want to encourage developers to use landmarks without making them
unnecessarily complicated - I think developer usability is quite an
important consideration.

And on the other hand, this practice was started only for backwards
compatibility with earlier browser and assistive device versions that did
not handle the new HTML5 elements. But browsers and screen readers have
been recognising them for enough years now; HTML5 and these elements became
a recommendation six years ago in 2014, and browsers were quick to take
them on board.

So it seems to me this practice of adding role attributes is no longer
necessary. Certainly I have stopped recommending it in audit reports.
Anyone still using a screen reader version old enough to not recognise
these elements will be missing far more important stuff than landmarks! -
quite a lot of ARIA, for instance. But if anyone knows of screen readers
that old still being used, please correct me.

Guy Hickling