This whole conversation is bound to "get geeky" and is
not, at least not directly, NVDA related but it is screen-reader
related and I was using NVDA when I discovered this problem. If
anyone happens to have an account with doortodoororganics.com
they may be able to see if they can replicate this.
When working with this issue I used the latest version
of NVDA and my friend who brought it to my attention and asked
for assistance has already tried the same thing with JAWS and
Window Eyes and still no dice. All of this was tried using the
latest version of Firefox regardless of the screen reader. This
is on a system running Windows 7.
On the screen for this company, once you're logged in,
is a series of controls that appear on the right that allow you
to do things such as, "Change box type," "Schedule a hold,"
"Skip a delivery," and "Manage account". The interesting thing
is that Manage account is a link (which is presented as looking
like a button, as are the others above it) but the other three
options are something, but I know not what.
If I try to do an NVDA search on any of the specific
words in the phrase nothing comes back as found. If I do a
Firefox find it will find and land on, say, "Change box," or,
"Schedule." If I activate any of these controls with the
conventional "point and click" it triggers a dialog overlay to
appear where the box at the center is what you're supposed to do
things like hit specific check controls and press a button and
surrounding it is a dark gray transparent area that overlays the
web browser window you were looking at. However, NVDA does not
seem to have any ability to interact with this dialog overlay.
What's weirder is that if I do something like hitting tab NVDA
seems to be continuing to interact with the web page beneath the
overlay. I have once or twice, using Firefox find and the
spacebar managed to trigger one of these controls, but it is in
no way consistent.
So, I decided to take a look at the page source for
this page thinking, "Surely I'll find out what these controls
are by searching on the phrase used on their 'buttons.' Well, I
don't. There is nothing in the page source, anywhere, for
"Change box" or "Schedule".
I cannot for the life of me figure out what these
control objects actually are. They are not buttons, they are
not links, and in the page source they do not even seem to
exist. NVDA and other screen readers do not even seem to
recognize their existence nor the presence of the overlay
dialogs that they trigger if mouse clicked.
Does anyone know what this sort of control is and if
there's a "standard method" of getting a screen reader, any
screen reader, to recognize their presence and to interact with
the overlay dialogs that they cause to be triggered?
If this belongs off-list please just say so and
request that all help be offered to me via e-mail. I posted
here because I have to believe that this particular ilk of
inaccessible control has to exist elsewhere and, for all I know,
may begin becoming more common. Since I don't know what the
control is, nor do screen readers, I don't even know how to ask
a truly focused question about a "ghost control."
The real art of conversation is not only to say
the right thing in the right place but to
leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
~ Dorothy Nevill