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How to ARIA menus work with JAWS?


From: Mark Magennis
Date: Sep 2, 2022 9:57AM

I'm confused about this and I hope someone can explain. Take a menu such as the one in the ARIA Practices example at https://www.w3.org/WAI/ARIA/apg/example-index/menu-button/menu-button-actions.html. Using JAWS/Chrome with automatic forms mode ON, if I tab to the Actions menu button and press Enter or Space to open the menu, JAWS doesn't switch to forms mode. But I can still arrow up and down through the menu and the web page moves focus between the menu items. How can this work? My limited understanding is that if JAWS is in browse (virtual) mode then it doesn't pass the arrow key presses through to the web application. So how can the web application know that the arrow keys have been pressed and respond by moving the selection? NVDA does enter focus mode when the menu opens but the behaviour is no different from JAWS.

As an aside, I also see that JAWS does enter forms mode if there is a role="button" on the menu <button>. This seems strange. Anyone know the intended logic behind this?


Mark Magennis (he/him)
Senior Accessibility Specialist
Skillsoft | mobile: +353 87 60 60 162