Your analysis is probably correct, but I am wondering just why the
issue didn't exist in versions of Thunderbird earlier than 60.9.
Remember, before that time, the status line was visible, but screen
readers: JAWS and NVDA didn't report all dynamic changes. It was
there and you could read it with the hotkey for status line.
With the reintroduction of the status line, we now have this
problem. I wonder if NVDA programers can do something to change
this--perhaps coming up with some sort of display silently and
invoking reading with hotkey.
On 4/9/2020 10:38 AM, Brian Vogel
My guess is that the
good folks at Thunderbird had gotten complaints that it was
impossible to know, for instance, whether all new e-mail had
completed downloading when you fired up T-bird at the start of the
day, and decided to expose a lot more information presented on the
status bar to the screen reader.
What they probably hadn't counted on is the fact that a screen
reader will detect changes and read them as they're detected, and
that's really, really irritating if you're reading your e-mail
messages and status stuff just barges in while doing so.
If they have sighted folks doing testing for these new functions,
it wouldn't surprise me if they just sat there when the status bar
was really active watching to see that it was being reported
correctly, never moving along like one normally would into reading
messages. And I can get that, as even though I have the status
bar displayed, I virtually never look at it at all. The
occasional glance occurs, but I wouldn't really miss it at all if
it weren't there by default.
It's well-nigh impossible for most of us who see to have any real
idea of exactly how screen reader users typically approach using
various pieces of software (and I include myself, though I do have
at least some idea at this point). And there will never be enough
in-house actual screen reader users doing accessibility testing.
That's one of the reasons I push so hard to get folks who
encounter accessibility issues to file bug/issue/trouble reports
with the companies that produce the software. You all are able to
give a far more accurate description of what the software is doing
that you don't want with the screen reader as well as what the
preferred behavior would be. Also, given your years of end-user
experience, you're often in a far better position to know whether
the issue you're having is with the screen reader or due to a
change in the software you're using the screen reader to access,
and that's often the key to getting to the root of the problem as
well as the fix.
Brian - Windows
10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1909, Build 18363
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