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Re: Tab controls and WCAG 1.4.10 Reflow

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From: Abi James
Date: Mar 31, 2022 3:29PM


One of the downsides of making the tab panel focusable is that when focusable elements in that tab have focus then the focus indicator on the panel is also shown (at least of chrome). This can be confusing and distracting for users, particularly it can appear like the panel focus indicator is coming on briefly when buttons are pressed.

The approach we reached was to only make the tab panel focusable when it didn’t contain focusable elements. If the tab contains a form (or other interactive element) then, as the tab panel is labelled by its heading, the region was announced when a screen reader users tabbed directly to to the interactive element in the tab panel. We also consider surpassing the focus indicator on the tab panel which would have been simpler to maintain but felt like too much of a compromise. There was no perfect approach.

Abi James

On 31 Mar 2022, at 13:33, Geethavani.Shamanna < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

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Thank you Birkir, this is really useful. I have so much to learn...

Geetha
-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Sent: 31 March 2022 12:44
To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Tab controls and WCAG 1.4.10 Reflow

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It's a question of whether you make the tabpenl elements focusable (adding tabindex="0") or not.
If you do, NVDA will snap out of application mode and start reading the contents of the tabpanel when you focus it. It's also better for sighed keyboard users, who can scroll the tabpanel if it is focusable.
It does add an extra tab stop (the tabpanel element has no function) which might cause some confusion for some users.
If, however, the tabpanel element dois not focusable, your fcus will land on the next focusable element after the tab, which might be part of the ttabpanel content or it might be later on the page (if the tabpanel has no focusable elements). In that case, your only solution is to manually switch out of application mode to explore the tabpanel.
I remember discussing this when I was on the ARIA Authoring Practices taskforce, but it was a long time ago and I don't remember whether we came to a hard conclusion on the subject.
On the balance of things, I'd recommend making the tabpanel focusable, but it is not an absolute requirement.

On 3/31/22, Geethavani.Shamanna < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> I have a related question regarding tab panels.
>
> I am currently testing a page where there are four tabs. When in the
> Focus mode of NVDA, on selecting a tab and pressing the Tab key, the
> contents of the tab panel are not read out. NVDA merely says 'Property
> page'. However, on selecting a tab in the Browse/Document mode, on
> pressing the Tab key, NVDA reads out the contents of the tab panel.
> Should this not work in the Focus mode as well?
>
> In the following example, the tab panel contents are not read out in
> the Focus mode:
> https://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria-practices/examples/tabs/tabs-2/tabs.htm
> l
>
> Many thanks.
> Geetha
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of
> Steve Green
> Sent: 31 March 2022 07:01
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Tab controls and WCAG 1.4.10 Reflow
>
> CAUTION: This mail comes from outside the University. Please consider
> this before opening attachments, clicking links, or acting on the content.
>
> This exact issue came up last week in an IAAP discussion, and our team
> discussed it internally for more than an hour. It seems simple at
> first, but it raises the question of what "scrolling" means, among
> other things. The WCAG authors must have assumed it's obvious, because
> they do not provide a definition.
>
> Opinion was split, both in IAAP and in our team. My view is that a Tab
> component does not require two-dimensional layout, and that the tabs
> can perfectly well wrap onto two or more lines. Indeed, I failed one
> of our clients' sites on this exact issue.
>
> Steve Green
> Managing Director
> Test Partners Ltd
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of
> Laurence Lewis
> Sent: 31 March 2022 06:53
> To: <EMAIL REMOVED>
> Subject: [WebAIM] Tab controls and WCAG 1.4.10 Reflow
>
> Hello
>
> I have a situation where a Tab component design had multiple tabs
> horizontally. If the screen is resized, or zoomed, some of the tabs
> are hidden from view in the sized container div. In some cases the tab
> name can be truncated with half the tab in view.
>
> The tabs can be scrolled in the container which opens other problems,
> however for WCAG 2.2 I think this will be a Visible Controls fail.
> but, is this a Reflow fail? I believe it may be because a Tab
> component does nor require a two-dimensional layout to be meaningful
> and thus the Tabs can be stacked in view.
>
> I would like to hear the opinion of other A11y people on potential
> accessibility issues.
>
>
> All the best
> Laurence
> Digital Accessibility Senior Specialist Telstra
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