Opened 15 years ago

Closed 14 years ago

Last modified 14 years ago

#3793 closed defect (wontfix)

Screen reader problems with spin boxes

Reported by: Becky Gibson Owned by: ptbrunet
Priority: high Milestone: 1.0
Component: Accessibility Version: 0.9
Keywords: Cc: [email protected]
Blocked By: Blocking:


When using the spinner, the Window-Eyes screen reader speaks the value in the spin box then "question, question". That is because it is trying to speak the up/down arrows which are represented by HTML entities. Try adding waiRole=presentation to the arrow nodes or giving them an empty title (altho I'm not sure if that will work).

Change History (14)

comment:1 Changed 15 years ago by Becky Gibson

(In [9758]) refs #3793. Fixes window-eyes screen reader speaking question mark for arrow keys when in page review mode. Add waiRole=Presentation and tabindex=-1 to arrows in spinner and combobox templates (need tabindex so browser will use wairole)

comment:2 Changed 15 years ago by Becky Gibson

Window-Eyes speaks "question mark" for the arrows in browse-off and browse-on mode. I can fix it in browse on mode by identifying the arrow objects as waiRole="presentation" and also a tabIndex="-1". I need the tabIndex=-1 so Firefox will awknowledge and use the waiRole. I can't find a way to fix it in browse-off mode when you are interacting with the controls. I thought it was using the arrows as the label since labels are not specified in the test_spinner.html file. However, adding the labels and proper id on the input field does not help. I modified the template so that the outer div gets an id="widget_${id} and the input gets id="${id} and tested and all works fine.

JAWS does not speak the question mark for the html entity arrows so I think this may be a Window-Eyes issue since when using MS inspect all of the names and descriptions now look correct. I will submit a bug report to window eyes and keep this open but move to 1.0 as the target.

comment:3 Changed 15 years ago by Becky Gibson

Status: newassigned

comment:4 Changed 15 years ago by Becky Gibson

(In [9760]) refs #3793 (missed a file on inital checkin) add label elements to spinner controls for better screen reader experience.

comment:5 Changed 15 years ago by Becky Gibson

Milestone: 0.91.0

comment:6 Changed 14 years ago by ptbrunet

Cc: ptbrunet added
Owner: changed from Becky Gibson to ptbrunet
Status: assignednew

comment:7 Changed 14 years ago by ptbrunet

Using JAWS (I used JAWS 9 driver 262) navigate down to a spinner in PC Cursor mode. The label is not read. Now press enter to enter Forms mode. I hear "900 edit spin box 900". The data in Inspect looks correct. Seems like a JAWS problem; checking with them. Will check Window-Eyes next.

comment:8 Changed 14 years ago by ptbrunet

Using Window-Eyes 6.1 (April 11),

  1. When nav to spin box in browse mode hear "spin button" but no value.
  2. Pressing enter doesn't exit browse mode. (This might be because a spin button is not control that normally can get focus in Win dialogs.)
  3. Exiting browse mode with Ctrl+Shift+A and tabbing to a spin button, hear nothing. (For the same reason?)

comment:9 Changed 14 years ago by ptbrunet

Cc: [email protected] added; ptbrunet removed

comment:10 Changed 14 years ago by ptbrunet

I think these are external issues with JAWS and Window-Eyes but will leave this open until I can get the issues entered into the respective external bug databases.

comment:11 Changed 14 years ago by ptbrunet

The Window-Eyes behavior has been reported to GW Micro via

There is a related Firefox/ARIA issue reported at

The JAWS bug DB report is pending.

comment:12 Changed 14 years ago by ptbrunet

Status on 9/18 - Using the JAWS 10 driver build 110 with today's minefield download.

  • In Virtual PC cursor mode, the role is not read when the text box gets the POR (point of regard), only the value. The role is ROLE_SYSTEM_SPINBUTTON.
    • Note that this is not the usual use of the SPINBUTTON role. It's meant for a collection of an up/down button, but that's the way it is in FF2 and I suspect will be the way it will remain in FF3, so Rob will need to special case the handling of SPINBUTTON for FF2 (and probably FF3).
  • The value, but nothing else, is re-read when the POR moves to whatever it moves to next when down arrow is pressed. I suspect JAWS is moving to one of the spin buttons or the collection of two spin buttons. Using the DOM Inspector you can see that both have tabindex of -1 and role of wairole:presentation so I think JAWS should just skip over them in virtual PC cursor mode. They are skipped in normal keyboard mode when not running JAWS.

I think JAWS is getting the information it needs and am waiting for confirmation from Freedom Scientific before closing this.

comment:13 Changed 14 years ago by ptbrunet

Resolution: wontfix
Status: newclosed

I discussed this with Frank Dipalermo, IBM's interface to Freedom Scientific and he agreed that this is a JAWS problem which will be addressed as they get further into their ARIA work so I am going to close this ticket. Frank said he was not going to enter a defect against JAWS until their development effort gets further along, but he'd make a note of the problems I noticed.

comment:14 Changed 14 years ago by ptbrunet

Summary: Window-Eyes screen reader speaks up/down arrows in spinnerScreen reader problems with spin boxes
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