Orion/Accessibility

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Testing Orion Accessibility

A great accessibility test is to put your mouse (and/or trackpad) out of reach and just use the keyboard for a while. Every time you find yourself reaching for your visual pointing device, stop and think, "Can I do this with the keyboard"? Need a menu? Type Alt. Context menu? Shift+F10. List of keyboard commands in Orion? Shift+? (or Alt+Shift+? from within the editor). Every platform and every browser has a set of keyboard shortcuts. For platform shortcuts, check out Wikipedia's Table of Keyboard Shortcuts. For browser-specific shortcuts, see the list below. If you can't figure out how to do something with the keyboard in Orion, then maybe that something needs to be fixed. If an important function takes too many keystrokes, maybe a key binding - or a refactoring - is needed.

After you become more proficient with keyboard navigation, start testing with a screen reader. Learn some of the screen reader's keyboard commands. Try listening without looking at the monitor. Think you've got the keyboard aced? Turn off your monitor and see if you can last more than 30 seconds before turning it back on.

Browser Accessibility and Keyboard Shortcuts

Screen Readers and other Assistive Technologies

Windows

  • Narrator for IE10 in Windows 8 (but not Firefox or Chrome).
  • Inspector tools, such as AccProbe for Firefox and Chrome, or Inspect (available with Windows SDK) for IE

Mac

  • Inspect Objects (installed with Xcode). Note: with Xcode 4.3, you need to use Xcode->Open Developer Tool->More Developer Tools...

Linux

Chrome

Orion Documentation

Accessible documentation includes making sure that the written text can stand alone without the images. If images are used to convey meaning, then suitable replacement text needs to be supplied. Alternative text for an image in a wiki follows a vertical bar typed after the image file name, for example: [[Image:Orion-myimage.png|My Alternative Text]]. Exactly what the alternative text should say depends on the context. For example, here are HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text alternatives.

Make sure that links have meaningful text. Link text for a link in a wiki follows a space after the link url, for example: [http://www.google.com Google]. Avoid using words like here and here and here and more... and more... as link text because screen reader users rely on the link text to tell them what the link is for.

WAI

The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative is the overarching body that publishes the standards and guidelines for web accessibility.

ARIA

In order to write Accessible Rich Internet Applications you need to use WAI-ARIA to augment your HTML/Javascript/CSS with semantic information.

Read the Introduction to WAI-ARIA or jump right into the WAI-ARIA Specification.

Follow the 13-step process for creating an accessible widget with WAI-ARIA.

Make sure the user can navigate to every focusable control or item with the keyboard. Read section 3.1.2 and 3.1.3 and section 3.2.1 of the ARIA Authoring Practices doc.

Follow the ARIA Design Patterns when you are creating custom controls like a dialog, tree, breadcrumb, or toolbar.

Here is an ARIA Role, State, and Property Quick Reference.

For examples of ARIA in Orion, search for aria- or tabindex= or role= in the code.

HTML5 and ARIA landmark roles

This Orion bug discusses HTML5 section elements and ARIA landmark roles, and this ARIA Landmark Roles blog post has further discussion.

Web Accessibility Links

  • The ARIA wiki is still being developed, but it has some good resources.
  • Free ARIA is an email list that can answer tough questions that google search can't answer.
  • WebAIM is a good web accessibility resource with articles and links to other resources.
  • WebAxe is a web accessibility blog and podcast with news and practical tips.
  • A List Apart is a good website containing many articles on web accessibility.
  • The Paciello Group is a good website containing a web accessibility blog and other resources.

Bugs

Orion is an open source project. Testing, bug filing/triage, documentation and code contributions to the accessibility support are very welcome and greatly appreciated.

When you run into an issue, check the Orion accessibility bug list.

If your issue isn't in the list, file an Orion accessibility bug.

If you know how to fix it, please submit a patch.