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Re: The importance of landmarks to screen readers?


From: Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Date: Mar 25, 2021 7:56PM

One of the explanations for the decreased landmark usage comes down to
the screen readers themselves.
Jaws has made landmarks practically a hidden feature in recent
versions, you actually have to change the default settings to see them
in browse mode.
I find that perplexing to say the least.
Part ofit could be overuse or misuse of landmarks, which is why I
personally go after the big 3 but try to cut down on other landmark
use, because each landmark region adds verbiage and people don't have
time to listen to unnecessary screen reader chatter, the landmarks can
only be used when they provide value.
Landmarks and headings serve different purposes and should be used together.
Landmarks tell you about fixed regions of the page, headings tell you
about the organizations of the page content.
When used together they give a complete and informative picture of the
page, but if one is used without the other or if one is misused they
provide confusing, overly verbose, or incomplete info.

On 3/25/21, Peter Weil < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> One thing I wonder about landmarks is nesting. It's not uncommon to see a
> <nav> element tucked inside <main>. Is this really a good idea? My
> impression is that landmarks ought to kept at the top level unless there is
> a compelling reason (which does not include css or layout constraints) to do
> so.
> It's also common is to see the heading (e.g., <h1>) for <main> to be located
> outside of <main>. How important is it to keep these together under the same
> landmark?
> --
> Peter Weil
> Web Developer
> University Marketing
> University of Wisconsin–Madison
> On 3/23/21, 3:08 PM, "WebAIM-Forum" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> wrote:
> Hello,
> My dev team and I are currently having a discussion about the importance of
> landmarks in websites. I was under the impression that the guidance of WCAG
> suggests that each webpage should have at least one or two landmarks per
> page, to help give screenreader users the ability to understand the overall
> layout of the page, for example that the page has at least the landmarks:
> - a header (for overall site info such as website name)
> - a nav (with links to different pages within the site or different
> sections of the page if it's a page with a lot of different content such as
> a long scroll type website)
> - a main for the content of the page
> We were working on a website that had a nav landmark that was by default
> hidden as a landmark when the page loaded (in NVDA it was not showing as
> anything under the Landmarks list in Elements List) and only became visible
> as a landmark once a hamburger menu was opened.
> I had flagged this as a WCAG failure, because the user has no way to know
> the nav landmark is there until they open the nav by hamburger button (and
> how can they open the nav when they don't know it's there? a sort of
> catch-22 situation) and I had assumed that screenreader users would want
> the nav landmark to be visible by default, either accessible by keyboard
> shortcut or by the Landmarks list.
> Have I given the nav landmark identity too much importance, that it must be
> identified by the screenreader officially as a nav landmark by default when
> the page loads? If the nav was clearly labelled for what it is (ie Main
> menu) and clear instructions are given for opening the menu by the
> hamburger icon, and otherwise is read out clearly by the screenreader and
> navigable by keyboard, would that be considered sufficient for passing the
> intent of WCAG's guidelines? Or do screen reader users first look at the
> list of page landmarks to help them move quickly between different parts of
> the page?
> *x*
> *Christine Hogenkamp (She, Her)*
> Front-end Developer
> 317 ADELAIDE ST. W., #500 | TORONTO, ON CANADA | M5V 1P9
> <https://maps.google.com/?q17+ADELAIDE+ST.+W.,+%23500%C2%A0+%7C%C2%A0+TORONTO,+ON+CANADA%C2%A0+%7C%C2%A0+M5V+1P9&entry=gmail&source=g>
> > > > > > > > >

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