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Re: Using ARIA grids


From: Mallory
Date: Jul 25, 2020 1:32AM

So far as I can tell, once you add in grid roles and the JS, you lose all the table semantics. The columnheaders don't name the cells anymore, you can't use ctrl-alt-Arrows to navigate, and you lose everything. The grid roles had to manually recreate everything.

Am I wrong on this? in 2017 when we made grids with role="grid", "row", and "gridcell" we did not get *any* table information exposed to screen readers. Maybe if we'd manually gone out of focus mode, since we were already using actual <table> HTML etc.

A few years ago (and things change quickly, I know) when making a calendar, we needed to re-add in all the information for each cell as a long aria-label because of the lost columnheader info. It felt like it defeated the purpose, but for a sighted keyboarder with no screen reader, it was a much easier navigation method (instead of 30+ Tabs to get past a month, it's a single Tab stop and if you wanted to choose a cell/day, Arrows could move in any direction).

Ideally we'd want a table that kept table semantics (so it worked like a table does and should) but offered that better, widget-style keyboarding to non-AT-using keyboarders. Then for all users, if cells are meant to be selected (usually yes), all users could just hit Enter to select them.

Honestly I've not run into a grid that was nicer to use with grid keyboard patterns than just a plain table, if using a screen reader, but a very very huge spreadsheet-style grid might be where the grid starts to be preferable. Tables with thousands of columns/rows do suck.


On Fri, Jul 24, 2020, at 10:22 PM, Don Mauck wrote:
> Yes, I do understand and appreciate that answer. The interesting thing
> is that I think I found that the grid I tested, didn't seem to work
> well with NVDA but seem to perform better using JAWS, so there seems to
> be something different, I've just got to get the developers to do the
> right thing. I think what I'm getting from the big picture, is that you
> can use ARIA-Grids and give the table attributes so that the can react
> to AT'S that use table commands.
> Is that a good overall understanding?
> Regards:
> Don Mauck | Senior Accessibility Evangelist | Accessibility Program
> Office | (APO)
> 303.334.4184