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Screen Readers & Dynamically Updated HTML


From: Hoffman, David
Date: Jun 4, 2004 7:48AM

Some web forms contain questions that appear or disappear based on the
response to a previous question. An example of this is the application for a
Wells Fargo checking account at

-- select the "Checking Accounts" link. The second question on the form is
"Are you a Wells Fargo customer?" When you select the "No" radio button, the
next question, "Do you access your bank accounts online?" is both disabled
and visually dimmed. When you select the "Yes" radio button, the "Do you
access your bank accounts online?" question is active and fully visible.

Earlier versions of JAWS were not aware of such dynamic changes until the
user manually refreshed the JAWS buffer. Of course, the user had no idea
when it was necessary to refresh the buffer. Recent versions of JAWS
automatically refresh the buffer whenever the user takes any action on the
page. As a result, JAWS works very nicely with such dynamically updated

Does anyone know or is anyone able to test how Home Page Reader or Window
Eyes handle such situations? And do the various magnification tools
automatically adjust to the automatic disabling or enabling of such controls
-- for example, if the user tabs through the form?


David Hoffman
IT Accessibility Specialist
MILVETS Systems Technology, Inc.
Client: Social Security Administration