Re: Does anyone read Groups.io via the Web Interface?
This message is long.
I have only looked at the archives once and I don't recall details concerning the page. But this question may deal with things I've been able to teach blind Internet users for years through discussions on lists and by means of a tutorial I wrote many years ago. and so I'll comment on them and also discuss related matters. I believe the way using the Internet is taught in general to blind people is poor and that its past time that something were done about it. This is in hopes of both helping people use the Internet better as a result of what I've written here, and perhaps spur movement in the direction of better teaching by perhaps affecting what is written in NVDA instructional materials on the subject. .
Why are you tabbing to get to the top of the page instead of using control home? If the column is far enough below the top that it is inefficient to get to it by tabbing or arrowing from the top, why not use control home then use the find command to search for it?
As far as messages are concerned, at present, there may be no either good or reasonably efficient way to move from one message to the next except for the find command. I haven't used online forums much but in the one or two I did, and in e-mail archives I've looked at, the find command is the only way to do this that I've found. Look for something, if there is anything, that repeats immediately before a new message or very close to the start of a new message. it should be something not found in quoted messages. I haven't used the archives for this list enough to know if something of the sort is available but in some archives, for example, something like the word "posted" may be a good marker. The repeat find command, which I would imagine you already know, is the best way to look for markers down the page and when you load a new page, repeat find still looks for the same thing. It won't change until you do a new search for something different.
These sorts of things are applicable in other situations and blind people should be taught them, in my opinion, before they are taught or are allowed to use things like landmarks. To be a good blind Internet user means knowing how to navigate pages efficiently if they can be, without additional markup specifically for blind people. Many pages do not have such markup or it is not used efficiently. Even headers may not take you where you want to go. On many pages, they will, but on many, they won't and use of the skip links command or the find command is either necessary or much more efficient.
There is far too much emphasis on sighted people adding features to web pages when compared to how little good teaching is done of blind people about basic navigation techniques where such are not available. This not only doesn't teach blind people what they should know, it fosters the attitude among blind Internet users and among a lot, I expect it’s a lot, of teachers, that it’s the sighted designers' responsibility. Of course, ideally sighted designers should use accessibility features. But the Internet is opened to all and it is not implemented in a lot of cases. Rather than giving students the impression that without such features, efficient browsing is not possible, students should be taught that In a lot of instances it is if they know a few simple techniques and how to use logic and inference to think about what to do. On radio station pages, for example, observing and remembering what is observed on many sites leads to the conclusion that the word listen, when searched for from the top of the page, will move the person to a link with the word listen in it. This is very common on such pages. Almost all listen links have the word listen in them.
And it's also logical to think that might be the case if you don't know. So instead of spending time listening to link after link as you move down a page, since logic tells you the word listen is likely to be used, using the find command without looking at the page may save a lot of time if you are not interested in anything on the page except for that.
----- Original Message -----
It seems that the vast majority of participants interact with these forums in good, old-fashioned e-mail. I, however, use the web interface and am in the process of trying to teach myself how to efficiently navigate any given Groups.io page, particularly the main Messages page. Things are not behaving as I'd expect they should/might when I'm using NVDA. Some of that is almost certainly ignorance regarding NVDA features, as I'm much newer to NVDA than I am to JAWS, but some of it is also the fact that I don't use a screen reader for my primary access and I think the actual pages are structured in a way that I wouldn't expect or don't understand.
Here's one example, when I try brute force TABbing to try to navigate to the link column on the upper left of the page containing the "control block" of links for Home, Messages, Post, Calendar, Hangout, and Subscription, I do not land in these directly after the dropdown that announces my name and would give me the option of editing my Profile or Logging out. I would have expected these to be the "logical nexts" in page traversal, but they're not (or I'm doing something wrong).
When I begin reading messages I also have not yet figured out how to jump forward to the next message in the forum with ease, and given that bottom quoting can be quite extensive that's something that anyone reading a forum such as this one would need to be able to do.
There are features of the web interface that simply are not available in the e-mail formats, but I can see how the web interface might not be something that would be easily adopted if it is as complicated for full-time screen reader users as it's proving to be for me.
This conversation could be useful to others who might like to try using the Groups.io web interface to interact with their subscribed groups. Since I know that there are a number of folks using Gmail's web interface I have to believe that this one is less complicated, just because of how it appears, but I could be entirely wrong.