WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: Screen reader bugs


From: tim.harshbarger@deque.com
Date: May 29, 2023 8:37PM

I refer to any bug that seems to be due to the browser, OS's accessibility API, or screen reader as a user agent defect. That is the code for the application is coded to technical specifications but does not work due to some issue or combination of issues with the browser, OS, or screen reader.

Before I tag something a user agent defect, I want to come up with solid proof and documentation that it really is a user agent defect. For example, I might want to be able to recreate the problem using a minimum viable test page.

Once I figure out that it is likely a user agent defect, it is time to decide what to do about it. For example, if there is no screen reader/browser/OS combination that supports that technique, then I don't recommend that technique. If it only occurs in some combinations, what is the user impact? Is there a work around for the issue? How difficult is the work around to implement? Is the work around a hack or just another technique supported by the specifications?

I don't always go as far as deciding if the issue exists in the screen reader, browser, OS, or some combination. That does involve extra time and effort and if the focus is on implementing an application for the next sprint, there isn't always the time to spend on that effort.

It has been a while since I had the opportunity to fully test this, but I don't believe that most screen readers support reporting the required or aria-required state from the fieldset, legend, or element with role="group". When I find a situation like that and there are other viable techniques, I just recommend the other techniques. In fact, in situations where there is little or no support for something I tend to think of that more as a user agent behaviour rather than a user agent defect--but that is just a personal perspective.

Unfortunately, there really isn't a hard set of rules for this. It is quite possible for 2 accessibility professionals to look at the same information for a user agent defect and they end up with different decisions. The important part is to gather as much information as you can regarding the nature of the issue, its user impact, and the alternatives and then try to make a decision based on requirements and trade-offs that seem sensible for the environment.

I've actually had the past opportunity to work with some people who are on or have been part of this list and have discussions on these types of defects. It always ends up being an interesting and insightful discussion.

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Sumit Patel
Sent: Monday, May 29, 2023 1:37 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: [WebAIM] Screen reader bugs

Hai all,

I would like to know the thoughts on how everyone approaches screen reader bugs which causes accessibility issues .

Here screen reader bugs means I refer, - though we have added recommended or apppropriate ARIA/HTML code , some of the screen readers don't identify it.
For example, Talkback does not support ARIA/HTML required attribute, group label which added using either fieldset and legend tags or "group" role etc .
Not just Talkback, with most of the screen readers , I have seen this issue. It may work with most of the screen readers except 1 or 2 readers.

I am not talking about a scenario where wehavn't added appropriate code and screen reader does not render it as expected.

Talking about screen reader does not render it as expected even after adding appropriate code , maybe by refering aria techniques or or any other documents

Here, what should be our approach ?
Even I have experienced scenarios where the code was working fine initially . but, stopped working after a screen reader update .

Do we need to ignore this issue as it just happens in only 1 or 2 screen readers and by thinking that it may get fixed in future after some updates of thos readers or need to think of other alternatives which works well with all the screen readers?