Access Accessibility information from JavaScript

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Access Accessibility information from JavaScript

Tobias Bengfort
Hi,

I am not sure where to direct this question, so sorry if this is the
wrong channel.

I just realized that there is no JavaScript API to access accessibility
information. I am focusing on the role, but this probably also applies
to other topics.

The straight-forward way to get an element's role is
`element.getAttribute('role')`. But this does not work for implicit
roles. The actual role is calculated anyway by the browser, so I do not
see any reason against exposing it as something like `element.role`.
Taking this one step further, I guess it could also be useful to use the
role in CSS selectors, but that is probably too far away for now.

I cannot be the first person thinking about this. Is there any prior
discussion that explains why this is not included in any spec? Or is
there a spec that I missed?

tobias


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Re: Access Accessibility information from JavaScript

Léonie Watson-5
On 23/07/2016 13:27, Tobias Bengfort wrote:
>
> I just realized that there is no JavaScript API to access accessibility
> information. I am focusing on the role, but this probably also applies
> to other topics.

[...]

> I cannot be the first person thinking about this. Is there any prior
> discussion that explains why this is not included in any spec? Or is
> there a spec that I missed?

It is not a simple thing, not least because of the differences between
all the platform accessibility APIs. Thought has been put into this by
various people though, notably at Microsoft and Mozilla. There is a
proposal to bring together the good bits from Microsoft's WAPA,
Mozilla's Web Accessibility API project, and other places like IndieUI,
to create script based accessibility. More info here:
https://discourse.wicg.io/t/script-based-accessibility-for-web-applications/1112 




Hth
Léonie.


--
@LeonieWatson tink.uk Carpe diem


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Re: Access Accessibility information from JavaScript

Accessys@smart.net

a bit of a parable.  in the early days of railroading in the USA each
railroad set a distance between the track or guage that they would use.
each comparny often would pick a different guage to prevent othter
railroad cars from running on their track. during the American civil war
the USA general Herman Haupt decided on a standard guage for all military
operations and it was a guage most often used in the North.

after the war many many dollars were spent reguaging railroads all over
the USA to this standard guage. (1435mm)  even to this day there are still
three major "standard" guages used in the world and a number of lesser
ones.

how does this fit.   in the computer world when computers were a new toy
and everybody had thier own idea of how to do things there were many
different OS.   it didn't take a war but it has shaken out to three major
standard OS's in use in the world  Windows, Mac, Unix/linux based systems.
since they have no reason to cooperate and are in direct competition with
each other for money and market shore.
there so far has been no computer war but there is no incentive for the OS
to work together.  our job at W3C/WAI would be so much easier if it were a
single OS set as standard. but (most)  governments cannot favor one
company over the other it can only say it has to work no matter what OS.

thus the problems with Javascript, PDF and so many other great apps that
will work fine in one OS and totally bog down in annother if it works at
all.

even cross platform attempts like OpenOffice.org have had limited success.
until we can get competing companies to see the benefits of cross platform
utilization this will continue.
many I know who use adaptive equipment say the internet gets harder and
harder to use daily.

this is a long winded explanation of the problem. and unforhtunately I
don't have an answer and we as a group and individually strive to force
this round peg into the square hole almost daily.

good luck
Bob




On Sat, 23 Jul 2016, [UTF-8] Léonie Watson wrote:

> Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2016 16:38:04 +0100
> From: "[UTF-8] Léonie Watson" <[hidden email]>
> To: Tobias Bengfort <[hidden email]>, WAI IG <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: Access Accessibility information from JavaScript
> Resent-Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2016 15:38:38 +0000
> Resent-From: [hidden email]
>
> On 23/07/2016 13:27, Tobias Bengfort wrote:
>>
>> I just realized that there is no JavaScript API to access accessibility
>> information. I am focusing on the role, but this probably also applies
>> to other topics.
>
> [...]
>
>> I cannot be the first person thinking about this. Is there any prior
>> discussion that explains why this is not included in any spec? Or is
>> there a spec that I missed?
>
> It is not a simple thing, not least because of the differences between all
> the platform accessibility APIs. Thought has been put into this by various
> people though, notably at Microsoft and Mozilla. There is a proposal to bring
> together the good bits from Microsoft's WAPA, Mozilla's Web Accessibility API
> project, and other places like IndieUI, to create script based accessibility.
> More info here:
> https://discourse.wicg.io/t/script-based-accessibility-for-web-applications/1112 
>
>
>
> Hth
> Léonie.
>
>
> --
> @LeonieWatson tink.uk Carpe diem
>
>