Topics

Are web applications that accessible?

Vincent Le Goff
 

Hello everyone,


Having used several Web applications in the last few years, I've been wondering why we still want desktop applications and claim for accessibility.  This thread is more to ask for opinion on the matter and perhaps, collect useful ideas we can shape into NVDA features or suggest to web application designers.  This is not a "plea for help" topic, but I don't think I'm breaking list rules (I hope not anyway), as this could benefit NVDA and is not a trivial issue.


Web apps are trendy.  And that's probably going to last for awhile, if not replace our Desktop applicaitons.  But for us, is it really a good news?  Why does a Desktop app tends to feel "more accessible" than a web app?  The thing is, there are lots of reasons why we appreciate our Desktop applications and get frustrated when we have to get the web application if a Desktop equivalent doesn't exist.  Beyond the fact that we're "used" to how an application works (which, obviously, is not the case when there's no Desktop equivalent), a website is in most cases incredibly more complex for us.  First of all, there are two navigation modes to understand and switch between instead of just one plain "way to do things".  There's no clear menubar and when we get an accessible menu, we can clap and send cookies to the web designer.  Sometimes (but not often) there's a real context menu we can really, you know, invoke from the application key and browse through the arrow keys.  And sometimes (often, to be sure), there are shortcuts to perform "standard" operations in the web app.


So do we just need to rethink our expectation of what an accessible application mean?  Some would say "come on! instead of using H and shift-H in Facebook app to browse posts, you use J and K, big deal!" But that's a big deal, because keyboard shortcuts are far from consistent.  Instead of screen reader shortcuts which can be somewhat standard and usable in most Desktop applications, web designers working on web applications feel like creating shortcuts that don't always make sense for screen reader users. Some conflicts with screen reader operations.  Some are just strange.  A user on this list asked if they could find an "accessible Facebook client".  Others said "Facebook is accessible".  While I agree 9I do use Facebook myself) I would tend to agree with the original poster: a web application is just not as simple as, say, a nice tree view with recent posts when you can just press the right-arrow to see the comments, or reactions, and press the application key to like, love, comment yourself.  I don't mean to critize Facebook here: they did a good job or creating such an application.  And I've seen much more problematic in terms of web apps.  I just want to point out there's a significant difference between a web application and desktop application in terms of accessibility.


So the answer to this thread, for me, would be "no".  Web applications are manageable.  They're not as accessible as a Desktop application for us.  And, might I say it, I doubt they ever will.  But let's remain optimistic here: there might be ways to improve global web applications on a screen reader level, not on an individual level.  Gmail is often quoted as being one of the best web application out there, regarding accessibility.  And frankly I really like it.  I would use it, but... yeah, I still use Thunderbird, just because some keyboard shortcuts feel awkward and I have other accounts that are not fortunate enough to use Gmail.  So perhaps I'm mistaken and web applications can and should improve.  In which case, perhaps we should just discuss means to bring the bad news to web designers.  I do it on an individual level when seeing a web application I can't access. But our efforts might be best invested in a group or something similar.


So, if this post is not too much frowned upon by NVDA moderators (I guess it could just be considered off-topic), I would really appreciate your thoughts on that.


Thanks in advance,


Vincent

Hope Williamson
 

This is a good question. In most cases I prefer a web- service than a desktop app. there are a couple instances where that isn't the case. My email is one because I have lots of messages all from lists lol. Twitter is another, because it's just way faster, and more efficient. Everything else I'd rather use a web browser for, including over a mobile device.

    For instance, I'm able to completely use the Instacart site to order my groceries, and have absolutely no issues with it. I also don't have any issues using the Spotify site for finding playlists I want to listen to, and streaming them.

Devin Prater
 

For me, its all about the verbosity. See Gmail for example. Do you know why it says all that it does after the header of the email, and before the body. Because that’s in the screen reader’s way, and web app devs can’t just hide it from being spoken, or those who use browse mode won’t find it. Yes, definitely, two modes of navigation isn’t just confusing to blind users.

On Oct 7, 2019, at 7:25 AM, Vincent Le Goff <vincent.legoff.srs@...> wrote:

Hello everyone,


Having used several Web applications in the last few years, I've been wondering why we still want desktop applications and claim for accessibility. This thread is more to ask for opinion on the matter and perhaps, collect useful ideas we can shape into NVDA features or suggest to web application designers. This is not a "plea for help" topic, but I don't think I'm breaking list rules (I hope not anyway), as this could benefit NVDA and is not a trivial issue.


Web apps are trendy. And that's probably going to last for awhile, if not replace our Desktop applicaitons. But for us, is it really a good news? Why does a Desktop app tends to feel "more accessible" than a web app? The thing is, there are lots of reasons why we appreciate our Desktop applications and get frustrated when we have to get the web application if a Desktop equivalent doesn't exist. Beyond the fact that we're "used" to how an application works (which, obviously, is not the case when there's no Desktop equivalent), a website is in most cases incredibly more complex for us. First of all, there are two navigation modes to understand and switch between instead of just one plain "way to do things". There's no clear menubar and when we get an accessible menu, we can clap and send cookies to the web designer. Sometimes (but not often) there's a real context menu we can really, you know, invoke from the application key and browse through the arrow keys. And sometimes (often, to be sure), there are shortcuts to perform "standard" operations in the web app.


So do we just need to rethink our expectation of what an accessible application mean? Some would say "come on! instead of using H and shift-H in Facebook app to browse posts, you use J and K, big deal!" But that's a big deal, because keyboard shortcuts are far from consistent. Instead of screen reader shortcuts which can be somewhat standard and usable in most Desktop applications, web designers working on web applications feel like creating shortcuts that don't always make sense for screen reader users. Some conflicts with screen reader operations. Some are just strange. A user on this list asked if they could find an "accessible Facebook client". Others said "Facebook is accessible". While I agree 9I do use Facebook myself) I would tend to agree with the original poster: a web application is just not as simple as, say, a nice tree view with recent posts when you can just press the right-arrow to see the comments, or reactions, and press the application key to like, love, comment yourself. I don't mean to critize Facebook here: they did a good job or creating such an application. And I've seen much more problematic in terms of web apps. I just want to point out there's a significant difference between a web application and desktop application in terms of accessibility.


So the answer to this thread, for me, would be "no". Web applications are manageable. They're not as accessible as a Desktop application for us. And, might I say it, I doubt they ever will. But let's remain optimistic here: there might be ways to improve global web applications on a screen reader level, not on an individual level. Gmail is often quoted as being one of the best web application out there, regarding accessibility. And frankly I really like it. I would use it, but... yeah, I still use Thunderbird, just because some keyboard shortcuts feel awkward and I have other accounts that are not fortunate enough to use Gmail. So perhaps I'm mistaken and web applications can and should improve. In which case, perhaps we should just discuss means to bring the bad news to web designers. I do it on an individual level when seeing a web application I can't access. But our efforts might be best invested in a group or something similar.


So, if this post is not too much frowned upon by NVDA moderators (I guess it could just be considered off-topic), I would really appreciate your thoughts on that.


Thanks in advance,


Vincent



Hope Williamson
 

There's no reason to leave out normal header information. In other words, the sender, date, time, and the fact that it's from you. If it's like the IP you're referring to, then that's different.

Damien Garwood
 

Hi Vincent,
You raise very valid points. Unless you are trained how to use computers with NVDA, the average user isn't going to really know the ultimate differences between browse and focus modes. Having had to teach myself, my perception became that "browse mode is for reading, focus mode is for writing". And don't even get me started on all these review modes. So of course, when I see websites refer to keyboard shortcuts, my first thought is, well done for trying, but that's useless to most screen reader users because the screen reader uses its own keystrokes for navigational tasks and other things, meaning they would be blocked. Of course, knowing my luck, I might even be proved wrong on that assumption as well.
After nearly a year of using Skype 8, and over four years of using NVDA, I'm only now getting a handle on how browse/focus modes really work...I think...Just!
Having said that, I was taught in a day when websites were mainly, if not exclusively, basic, static HTML, applications were exclusively desktop-based, and NVDA didn't even exist. There was a clear distinction, hence the reason why a lot of today's interfaces throw me into a panic. And I'll leave your imagination to play out the state I was in when I first saw an HTML link in a desktop application that wasn't a web browser, or a self-expanding menu or treeview on a website. Let's just say I thought the whole world had turned on its head.
On the other hand, if I were just born, and taught in the future, at a time when NVDA actually exists and most apps are web-based, I think I would struggle just as much if I saw a legacy desktop application. Unless you're taught, it's not obvious by opening an application that alt should open a menu and there will be a key that accesses a context menu. Come to think of it, would you even know what a "context menu" was?
Again, it all depends on what you're taught, and how well you are at adapting your skills to suit requirements. Unfortunately, my education was only as good as the limited resources that were available at the time, and my adaptability is pretty much little to none, I guess mainly because of my autism. I get totally thrown, everything blows out of proportion, and then my toys get thrown out of the pram. It doesn't help that I wasn't taught that this sort of thing could happen, that technology would update, and part of that process could well involve changes to interface elements and keyboard shortcuts. It's OK teaching someone to press Win+R and type Notepad, but you're pretty much thrown into next week if you one day find it doesn't work and you don't know how else you can invoke the run dialog, other than the start menu, which, along with ribbons, is easily in my top five technological pet hates. You want change...You got it right there.
Cheers,
Damien.

On 07/10/2019 01:25 pm, Vincent Le Goff wrote:
Hello everyone,
Having used several Web applications in the last few years, I've been wondering why we still want desktop applications and claim for accessibility.  This thread is more to ask for opinion on the matter and perhaps, collect useful ideas we can shape into NVDA features or suggest to web application designers.  This is not a "plea for help" topic, but I don't think I'm breaking list rules (I hope not anyway), as this could benefit NVDA and is not a trivial issue.
Web apps are trendy.  And that's probably going to last for awhile, if not replace our Desktop applicaitons.  But for us, is it really a good news?  Why does a Desktop app tends to feel "more accessible" than a web app?  The thing is, there are lots of reasons why we appreciate our Desktop applications and get frustrated when we have to get the web application if a Desktop equivalent doesn't exist.  Beyond the fact that we're "used" to how an application works (which, obviously, is not the case when there's no Desktop equivalent), a website is in most cases incredibly more complex for us.  First of all, there are two navigation modes to understand and switch between instead of just one plain "way to do things".  There's no clear menubar and when we get an accessible menu, we can clap and send cookies to the web designer.  Sometimes (but not often) there's a real context menu we can really, you know, invoke from the application key and browse through the arrow keys.  And sometimes (often, to be sure), there are shortcuts to perform "standard" operations in the web app.
So do we just need to rethink our expectation of what an accessible application mean?  Some would say "come on! instead of using H and shift-H in Facebook app to browse posts, you use J and K, big deal!" But that's a big deal, because keyboard shortcuts are far from consistent. Instead of screen reader shortcuts which can be somewhat standard and usable in most Desktop applications, web designers working on web applications feel like creating shortcuts that don't always make sense for screen reader users. Some conflicts with screen reader operations. Some are just strange.  A user on this list asked if they could find an "accessible Facebook client".  Others said "Facebook is accessible". While I agree 9I do use Facebook myself) I would tend to agree with the original poster: a web application is just not as simple as, say, a nice tree view with recent posts when you can just press the right-arrow to see the comments, or reactions, and press the application key to like, love, comment yourself.  I don't mean to critize Facebook here: they did a good job or creating such an application.  And I've seen much more problematic in terms of web apps.  I just want to point out there's a significant difference between a web application and desktop application in terms of accessibility.
So the answer to this thread, for me, would be "no".  Web applications are manageable.  They're not as accessible as a Desktop application for us.  And, might I say it, I doubt they ever will.  But let's remain optimistic here: there might be ways to improve global web applications on a screen reader level, not on an individual level.  Gmail is often quoted as being one of the best web application out there, regarding accessibility.  And frankly I really like it.  I would use it, but... yeah, I still use Thunderbird, just because some keyboard shortcuts feel awkward and I have other accounts that are not fortunate enough to use Gmail.  So perhaps I'm mistaken and web applications can and should improve.  In which case, perhaps we should just discuss means to bring the bad news to web designers.  I do it on an individual level when seeing a web application I can't access. But our efforts might be best invested in a group or something similar.
So, if this post is not too much frowned upon by NVDA moderators (I guess it could just be considered off-topic), I would really appreciate your thoughts on that.
Thanks in advance,
Vincent

Devin Prater
 

On no, it says “Reply, reply all, forward…” all that, even if you use the keyboard commands to move to the next or previous message.

On Oct 7, 2019, at 8:14 AM, Hope Williamson <hopeisjoyful@...> wrote:

There's no reason to leave out normal header information. In other words, the sender, date, time, and the fact that it's from you. If it's like the IP you're referring to, then that's different.


Gene
 

So, how do you skip all that?  I don't use GMail on the Internet except to look at the spam filter now and then.  I am not familiar with the supplied short cuts.  But any time you want to jump from message to message, typing x in browse mode takes you to the check box for the next message.  You hear, as I recall, the subject line and the name of the sender. 
 
But there are ways of skipping unwanted material and the fact that they are not well known indicates poor training or poor training materials being widely used.
 
The find command is one of the most useful but under or unused feature.  What is the last consistent line before the message text, or the synopsis, begins?  Find it by looking from the check box down on more than one message.  You will see a pattern.
Do a search for that line and you can then do the following:
x to move to the next message.
Repeat search, you have already searched once by entering the search string, then down arrow once and read to end.
After you do this enough to have it become second nature, it will be reasonably fast and efficient.
 
You can't be a good Internet user in more complex areas of a web page if you rely on what I refer to as "the kindness of strangers.", as is famously said by a character in A Street Car Named Desire.
 
The number of blind people, even those who are generally good computer users, who don't know how to do what I'm describing is clear evidence of the inadequate and poor training received.
 
I don't use web applications enough to discuss the general questions presented here, but GMail isn't a web application in the sense that Google Docx (spelling) is.  It is a layout but you aren't working with an application embedded in the page.
 
And you will see lots of times when doing things such as I describe is important for efficient navigation.
 
Gene

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, October 07, 2019 8:44 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Are web applications that accessible?

On no, it says “Reply, reply all, forward…” all that, even if you use the keyboard commands to move to the next or previous message.

> On Oct 7, 2019, at 8:14 AM, Hope Williamson <hopeisjoyful@...> wrote:
>
> There's no reason to leave out normal header information. In other words, the sender, date, time, and the fact that it's from you. If it's like the IP you're referring to, then that's different.
>
>
>



 

On Mon, Oct 7, 2019 at 09:23 AM, Damien Garwood wrote:
So of course, when I see websites refer to keyboard shortcuts, my first thought is, well done for trying, but that's useless to most screen reader users because the screen reader uses its own keystrokes for navigational tasks and other things, meaning they would be blocked.
This is absolutely, positively not typically the case.   In particular because most screen reader commands require the "screen reader prefix key" as part of the command, and virtually no other commands, be they Windows, application program, or web application ever use what is the screen reader prefix key.

There was a time, before Windows itself, when keyboard shortcuts were used pretty much exclusively to work with programs quickly and easily.  They date from the days of DOS, and there are very few that changed since that time.

There are occasions where there may be some overlap, there can't help but be, and even then that's what screen readers have the pass-through-key feature for.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362  

The color of truth is grey.

           ~ André Gide

 

 

molly the blind tech lover
 

Hi ☺ Molly here.
I personally find web apps easier for me to use than say, mobile apps. For example, I like using Facebook and twitter on the web not only because I like using keyboard shortcuts but because I find using NVDA and navigating a web app with a keyboard much more efficient than using the mobile app with a touchscreen.

-----Original Message-----
From: nvda@nvda.groups.io <nvda@nvda.groups.io> On Behalf Of Vincent Le Goff
Sent: Monday, October 7, 2019 8:26 AM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: [nvda] Are web applications that accessible?

Hello everyone,


Having used several Web applications in the last few years, I've been wondering why we still want desktop applications and claim for accessibility. This thread is more to ask for opinion on the matter and perhaps, collect useful ideas we can shape into NVDA features or suggest to web application designers. This is not a "plea for help" topic, but I don't think I'm breaking list rules (I hope not anyway), as this could benefit NVDA and is not a trivial issue.


Web apps are trendy. And that's probably going to last for awhile, if not replace our Desktop applicaitons. But for us, is it really a good news? Why does a Desktop app tends to feel "more accessible" than a web app? The thing is, there are lots of reasons why we appreciate our Desktop applications and get frustrated when we have to get the web application if a Desktop equivalent doesn't exist. Beyond the fact that we're "used" to how an application works (which, obviously, is not the case when there's no Desktop equivalent), a website is in most cases incredibly more complex for us. First of all, there are two navigation modes to understand and switch between instead of just one plain "way to do things". There's no clear menubar and when we get an accessible menu, we can clap and send cookies to the web designer. Sometimes (but not often) there's a real context menu we can really, you know, invoke from the application key and browse through the arrow keys. And sometimes (often, to be sure), there are shortcuts to perform "standard"
operations in the web app.


So do we just need to rethink our expectation of what an accessible application mean? Some would say "come on! instead of using H and shift-H in Facebook app to browse posts, you use J and K, big deal!" But that's a big deal, because keyboard shortcuts are far from consistent. Instead of screen reader shortcuts which can be somewhat standard and usable in most Desktop applications, web designers working on web applications feel like creating shortcuts that don't always make sense for screen reader users. Some conflicts with screen reader operations. Some are just strange. A user on this list asked if they could find an "accessible Facebook client". Others said "Facebook is accessible". While I agree 9I do use Facebook myself) I would tend to agree with the original poster: a web application is just not as simple as, say, a nice tree view with recent posts when you can just press the right-arrow to see the comments, or reactions, and press the application key to like, love, comment yourself. I don't mean to critize Facebook here: they did a good job or creating such an application. And I've seen much more problematic in terms of web apps. I just want to point out there's a significant difference between a web application and desktop application in terms of accessibility.


So the answer to this thread, for me, would be "no". Web applications are manageable. They're not as accessible as a Desktop application for us. And, might I say it, I doubt they ever will. But let's remain optimistic here: there might be ways to improve global web applications on a screen reader level, not on an individual level. Gmail is often quoted as being one of the best web application out there, regarding accessibility. And frankly I really like it. I would use it, but...
yeah, I still use Thunderbird, just because some keyboard shortcuts feel awkward and I have other accounts that are not fortunate enough to use Gmail. So perhaps I'm mistaken and web applications can and should improve. In which case, perhaps we should just discuss means to bring the bad news to web designers. I do it on an individual level when seeing a web application I can't access. But our efforts might be best invested in a group or something similar.


So, if this post is not too much frowned upon by NVDA moderators (I guess it could just be considered off-topic), I would really appreciate your thoughts on that.


Thanks in advance,


Vincent

 

On Mon, Oct 7, 2019 at 10:51 AM, Gene wrote:
But there are ways of skipping unwanted material and the fact that they are not well known indicates poor training or poor training materials being widely used.
 
The find command is one of the most useful but under or unused feature.
Indeed.   What's worse is how often I see people making the assertion, "You can't do {insert thing X}," which I know for fact you can do, and have been able to do for years.   Or stating that something is inaccessible not because it's actually inaccessible, but because they do not know how to access it.   That's one of the very reasons that questions of the form, "Is {insert program or app here} accessible with NVDA?," are allowed and encouraged on this group.  Though one can install and play with things, and actually should, when a given program either costs money and/or is quite complex it makes perfect sense to try to determine whether it's accessible or not before investing a lot of time in playing with it.   One good thing about groups, though, is that you can easily figure out when an incorrect assertion has been made based upon the typical flow of, "That's just not the case," often accompanied by instructions on how to access something that follows it.

And the screen reader find is one of the most handy and grossly underused features for "quick and dirty" movement around a given cyber landscape that I know of.  One of the tutorials I wrote ages ago,Mass Selection and Deletion of Gmail Messages via the Gmail Web Interface, was in response to several assertions of the "you can't do that, at all" nature that were offered.  And if you don't use the screen reader find function (see step 3) it is impossible to do, but with it, well . . .
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362  

The color of truth is grey.

           ~ André Gide

 

 

Gene
 

Most screen-reader commands, such as h for move by heading, don't require such a key.  If you are going to use a web site shortcut, if you are in browse mode, you may have to use the pass through command first, or switch to forms mode, or, in other words, turn browse mode off.  But NVDA, in newer versions, has a feature that allows you to send web page short cut keys wile still in browse mode.  I haven't used it but it allows you to send commands and allows them to reach the web page where, if not for this feature, browse mode wouldn't allow this.
 
I believe JAWS has a similar feature. 
 
Those who use this feature will, I hope, comment further.
Gene
----- Original Message -----

Sent: Monday, October 07, 2019 9:58 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Are web applications that accessible?

On Mon, Oct 7, 2019 at 09:23 AM, Damien Garwood wrote:
So of course, when I see websites refer to keyboard shortcuts, my first thought is, well done for trying, but that's useless to most screen reader users because the screen reader uses its own keystrokes for navigational tasks and other things, meaning they would be blocked.
This is absolutely, positively not typically the case.   In particular because most screen reader commands require the "screen reader prefix key" as part of the command, and virtually no other commands, be they Windows, application program, or web application ever use what is the screen reader prefix key.

There was a time, before Windows itself, when keyboard shortcuts were used pretty much exclusively to work with programs quickly and easily.  They date from the days of DOS, and there are very few that changed since that time.

There are occasions where there may be some overlap, there can't help but be, and even then that's what screen readers have the pass-through-key feature for.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362  

The color of truth is grey.

           ~ André Gide

 

 

Devin Prater
 

No.
I use the keyboard commands given by Gmail for use within their web app. J to go to the next conversation, K to go to the previous one. Enter opens a conversation, then N and P move to the previous or next message in that conversation. Its great so far. But then you get excess chatter, which simply slows the screen reader user down.
Sure, one can use the site in browse mode, finding good little tips to go from message to message, but it isn’t intuitive to teach a student to move by check box to get through messages, as that’s just not what check boxes are for, mainly. On the other hand, workarounds have to be used. Indeed, a screen reader is one big workaround. That doesn’t mean that screen reader manufacturers and web app devs should just accept that unneeded speaking of web page elements when navigating by keyboard commands is okay, or even desirable.

On Oct 7, 2019, at 9:51 AM, Gene <gsasner@...> wrote:

So, how do you skip all that?  I don't use GMail on the Internet except to look at the spam filter now and then.  I am not familiar with the supplied short cuts.  But any time you want to jump from message to message, typing x in browse mode takes you to the check box for the next message.  You hear, as I recall, the subject line and the name of the sender.  
 
But there are ways of skipping unwanted material and the fact that they are not well known indicates poor training or poor training materials being widely used.
 
The find command is one of the most useful but under or unused feature.  What is the last consistent line before the message text, or the synopsis, begins?  Find it by looking from the check box down on more than one message.  You will see a pattern.
Do a search for that line and you can then do the following:
x to move to the next message.
Repeat search, you have already searched once by entering the search string, then down arrow once and read to end.
After you do this enough to have it become second nature, it will be reasonably fast and efficient.
 
You can't be a good Internet user in more complex areas of a web page if you rely on what I refer to as "the kindness of strangers.", as is famously said by a character in A Street Car Named Desire.
 
The number of blind people, even those who are generally good computer users, who don't know how to do what I'm describing is clear evidence of the inadequate and poor training received.
 
I don't use web applications enough to discuss the general questions presented here, but GMail isn't a web application in the sense that Google Docx (spelling) is.  It is a layout but you aren't working with an application embedded in the page.
 
And you will see lots of times when doing things such as I describe is important for efficient navigation.
 
Gene
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, October 07, 2019 8:44 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Are web applications that accessible?

On no, it says “Reply, reply all, forward…” all that, even if you use the keyboard commands to move to the next or previous message.

> On Oct 7, 2019, at 8:14 AM, Hope Williamson <hopeisjoyful@...> wrote:
> 
> There's no reason to leave out normal header information. In other words, the sender, date, time, and the fact that it's from you. If it's like the IP you're referring to, then that's different.
> 
> 
> 




Devin Prater
 

Yes, I do like the Find function. I teach my students to use that, over the commonly taught “elements list” dinosaur. Seriously, when a website is mainly reading, the elements list skips so much, and it only makes a blind person’s life harder because if that element isn’t there anymore, or it changes from a link to a button, well there ya go. But if it’s a web app we’re working with, I try to use it as “natively” as possible, turning on focus mode, using Tab, shift+Tab, and keyboard shortcuts as much as possible.

On Oct 7, 2019, at 10:08 AM, Brian Vogel <britechguy@...> wrote:

On Mon, Oct 7, 2019 at 10:51 AM, Gene wrote:
But there are ways of skipping unwanted material and the fact that they are not well known indicates poor training or poor training materials being widely used.
 
The find command is one of the most useful but under or unused feature.
Indeed.   What's worse is how often I see people making the assertion, "You can't do {insert thing X}," which I know for fact you can do, and have been able to do for years.   Or stating that something is inaccessible not because it's actually inaccessible, but because they do not know how to access it.   That's one of the very reasons that questions of the form, "Is {insert program or app here} accessible with NVDA?," are allowed and encouraged on this group.  Though one can install and play with things, and actually should, when a given program either costs money and/or is quite complex it makes perfect sense to try to determine whether it's accessible or not before investing a lot of time in playing with it.   One good thing about groups, though, is that you can easily figure out when an incorrect assertion has been made based upon the typical flow of, "That's just not the case," often accompanied by instructions on how to access something that follows it.

And the screen reader find is one of the most handy and grossly underused features for "quick and dirty" movement around a given cyber landscape that I know of.  One of the tutorials I wrote ages ago,Mass Selection and Deletion of Gmail Messages via the Gmail Web Interface, was in response to several assertions of the "you can't do that, at all" nature that were offered.  And if you don't use the screen reader find function (see step 3) it is impossible to do, but with it, well . . .
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362  

The color of truth is grey.

           ~ André Gide

 
 

Sarah k Alawami
 

I ignore the header info, I don't need it. I just read subject and body of emails always. I don't care whoit is from most of the time as I can look at that colomn quickly. But I preferdesktop apps actually as they tend to be faster, more accessible and less frequently updated.

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On 7 Oct 2019, at 6:14, Hope Williamson wrote:

There's no reason to leave out normal header information. In other words, the sender, date, time, and the fact that it's from you. If it's like the IP you're referring to, then that's different.

Sarah k Alawami
 

Actually remember that Nvda has quick nav keys so if a site says "press f to play the audio" and "f" takes me to the next edit field, I can't do that unless I h put in this case NVDA to sleep with nvda shift z. Or press 8 and 9 to go to the next and pref article etc. I have come across sightws like that. And gmail? You have to be in focus mode to use the short cuts so I switched back to the basic html which is severely limited.

Take care

Sarah Alawami, owner of TFFP. . For more info go to our website. This is also our libsyn page as well.
For stuff we sell, mac training materials and  tutorials go here.
and for hosting options go here
to subscribe to the feed click here

Our telegram channel is also a good place for an announce only in regard to podcasts, contests, etc.

Our discord is where you will know when we go live on youtube, twitch and mixer. Thanks Restream staff.

Finally, to become a patron and help support the podcast go here

On 7 Oct 2019, at 7:58, Brian Vogel wrote:

On Mon, Oct 7, 2019 at 09:23 AM, Damien Garwood wrote:
So of course, when I see websites refer to keyboard shortcuts, my first thought is, well done for trying, but that's useless to most screen reader users because the screen reader uses its own keystrokes for navigational tasks and other things, meaning they would be blocked.
This is absolutely, positively not typically the case.   In particular because most screen reader commands require the "screen reader prefix key" as part of the command, and virtually no other commands, be they Windows, application program, or web application ever use what is the screen reader prefix key.

There was a time, before Windows itself, when keyboard shortcuts were used pretty much exclusively to work with programs quickly and easily.  They date from the days of DOS, and there are very few that changed since that time.

There are occasions where there may be some overlap, there can't help but be, and even then that's what screen readers have the pass-through-key feature for.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362  

The color of truth is grey.

           ~ André Gide

 

 

Sarah k Alawami
 

I actually rarely use the find function on for example http://restream.io I jut use elements list to get to title, then social to update my stuff and e to get to the firs the edit field. Man I hope one day I can edit this stuff using the app as it is just more convenient.

Sarah Alawami, owner of TFFP. . For more info go to our website. This is also our libsyn page as well.
For stuff we sell, mac training materials and  tutorials go here.
and for hosting options go here
to subscribe to the feed click here

Our telegram channel is also a good place for an announce only in regard to podcasts, contests, etc.

Our discord is where you will know when we go live on youtube, twitch and mixer. Thanks Restream staff.

Finally, to become a patron and help support the podcast go here

On 7 Oct 2019, at 8:22, Devin Prater wrote:

Yes, I do like the Find function. I teach my students to use that, over the commonly taught “elements list” dinosaur. Seriously, when a website is mainly reading, the elements list skips so much, and it only makes a blind person’s life harder because if that element isn’t there anymore, or it changes from a link to a button, well there ya go. But if it’s a web app we’re working with, I try to use it as “natively” as possible, turning on focus mode, using Tab, shift+Tab, and keyboard shortcuts as much as possible.

On Oct 7, 2019, at 10:08 AM, Brian Vogel <britechguy@...> wrote:

On Mon, Oct 7, 2019 at 10:51 AM, Gene wrote:
But there are ways of skipping unwanted material and the fact that they are not well known indicates poor training or poor training materials being widely used.
 
The find command is one of the most useful but under or unused feature.
Indeed.   What's worse is how often I see people making the assertion, "You can't do {insert thing X}," which I know for fact you can do, and have been able to do for years.   Or stating that something is inaccessible not because it's actually inaccessible, but because they do not know how to access it.   That's one of the very reasons that questions of the form, "Is {insert program or app here} accessible with NVDA?," are allowed and encouraged on this group.  Though one can install and play with things, and actually should, when a given program either costs money and/or is quite complex it makes perfect sense to try to determine whether it's accessible or not before investing a lot of time in playing with it.   One good thing about groups, though, is that you can easily figure out when an incorrect assertion has been made based upon the typical flow of, "That's just not the case," often accompanied by instructions on how to access something that follows it.

And the screen reader find is one of the most handy and grossly underused features for "quick and dirty" movement around a given cyber landscape that I know of.  One of the tutorials I wrote ages ago,Mass Selection and Deletion of Gmail Messages via the Gmail Web Interface, was in response to several assertions of the "you can't do that, at all" nature that were offered.  And if you don't use the screen reader find function (see step 3) it is impossible to do, but with it, well . . .
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362  

The color of truth is grey.

           ~ André Gide

 
 

Damien Garwood
 

Hi Gene,
If it were just h, I don't think it'd be an issue. But of course we have everything else (I think J, P, Y and Z are the only letters in the alphabet not to have functions associated with them). Of course many of these are very useful - I use them all the time. But the question then becomes, what takes precedence, NVDA's keys, or the web app's keys? Usually, I tend to find the former. It's only very recently (I'm talking a matter of days) when I learned that you could use shortcuts with focus mode, and that essentially my whole understanding of interfaces and navigation was just wrong on so many levels.
Cheers,
Damien.

On 07/10/2019 04:08 pm, Gene wrote:
Most screen-reader commands, such as h for move by heading, don't require such a key.  If you are going to use a web site shortcut, if you are in browse mode, you may have to use the pass through command first, or switch to forms mode, or, in other words, turn browse mode off.  But NVDA, in newer versions, has a feature that allows you to send web page short cut keys wile still in browse mode.  I haven't used it but it allows you to send commands and allows them to reach the web page where, if not for this feature, browse mode wouldn't allow this.
I believe JAWS has a similar feature.
Those who use this feature will, I hope, comment further.
Gene
----- Original Message -----
*From:* Brian Vogel <mailto:@britechguy>
*Sent:* Monday, October 07, 2019 9:58 AM
*To:* nvda@nvda.groups.io <mailto:nvda@nvda.groups.io>
*Subject:* Re: [nvda] Are web applications that accessible?
On Mon, Oct 7, 2019 at 09:23 AM, Damien Garwood wrote:
So of course, when I see websites refer to keyboard shortcuts, my
first thought is, well done for trying, but that's useless to most
screen reader users because the screen reader uses its own
keystrokes for navigational tasks and other things, meaning they
would be blocked.
This is absolutely, positively not typically the case.   In particular because most screen reader commands require the "screen reader prefix key" as part of the command, and virtually no other commands, be they Windows, application program, or web application ever use what is the screen reader prefix key.
There was a time, before Windows itself, when keyboard shortcuts were used pretty much exclusively to work with programs quickly and easily. They date from the days of DOS, and there are very few that changed since that time.
There are occasions where there may be some overlap, there can't help but be, and even then that's what screen readers have the pass-through-key feature for.
--
Brian *-*Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362
*The color of truth is grey.*
~ André Gide

Gene
 

It doesn't matter what a web page element is for in terms of a sighted user.  The purpose of telling a blind student to use the check box is to help the student learn to recognize patterns on web pages and this is one pattern.  On a new page, where usual means don't work well, the student either learns to look at the page and find patterns such as this or the student flounders on any page that doesn't implement such things as move by headings as the blind person expects. 
 
A mailbox isn't placed at a certain part of a sidewalk to tell a blind person that the building he is looking for is to the right of the mailbox but what good blind traveler wouldn't use such a means of locating the building efficiently?  Intent, as to how a sighted person works is irrelevant.  How a blind person can use such elements and patterns is what is relevant.
 
Gene

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, October 07, 2019 10:18 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Are web applications that accessible?

No.
I use the keyboard commands given by Gmail for use within their web app. J to go to the next conversation, K to go to the previous one. Enter opens a conversation, then N and P move to the previous or next message in that conversation. Its great so far. But then you get excess chatter, which simply slows the screen reader user down.
Sure, one can use the site in browse mode, finding good little tips to go from message to message, but it isn’t intuitive to teach a student to move by check box to get through messages, as that’s just not what check boxes are for, mainly. On the other hand, workarounds have to be used. Indeed, a screen reader is one big workaround. That doesn’t mean that screen reader manufacturers and web app devs should just accept that unneeded speaking of web page elements when navigating by keyboard commands is okay, or even desirable.

On Oct 7, 2019, at 9:51 AM, Gene <gsasner@...> wrote:

So, how do you skip all that?  I don't use GMail on the Internet except to look at the spam filter now and then.  I am not familiar with the supplied short cuts.  But any time you want to jump from message to message, typing x in browse mode takes you to the check box for the next message.  You hear, as I recall, the subject line and the name of the sender.  
 
But there are ways of skipping unwanted material and the fact that they are not well known indicates poor training or poor training materials being widely used.
 
The find command is one of the most useful but under or unused feature.  What is the last consistent line before the message text, or the synopsis, begins?  Find it by looking from the check box down on more than one message.  You will see a pattern.
Do a search for that line and you can then do the following:
x to move to the next message.
Repeat search, you have already searched once by entering the search string, then down arrow once and read to end.
After you do this enough to have it become second nature, it will be reasonably fast and efficient.
 
You can't be a good Internet user in more complex areas of a web page if you rely on what I refer to as "the kindness of strangers.", as is famously said by a character in A Street Car Named Desire.
 
The number of blind people, even those who are generally good computer users, who don't know how to do what I'm describing is clear evidence of the inadequate and poor training received.
 
I don't use web applications enough to discuss the general questions presented here, but GMail isn't a web application in the sense that Google Docx (spelling) is.  It is a layout but you aren't working with an application embedded in the page.
 
And you will see lots of times when doing things such as I describe is important for efficient navigation.
 
Gene
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, October 07, 2019 8:44 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Are web applications that accessible?

On no, it says “Reply, reply all, forward…” all that, even if you use the keyboard commands to move to the next or previous message.

> On Oct 7, 2019, at 8:14 AM, Hope Williamson <hopeisjoyful@...> wrote:
> 
> There's no reason to leave out normal header information. In other words, the sender, date, time, and the fact that it's from you. If it's like the IP you're referring to, then that's different.
> 
> 
> 




 

On Mon, Oct 7, 2019 at 11:08 AM, Gene wrote:
Most screen-reader commands, such as h for move by heading, don't require such a key. 
I do not consider the "quick navigation" keys, which I do use and teach folks to use, "most screen-reader commands."    They are a tiny minority of the commands and apply on web pages.

I also stated, explicitly, "there are occasions where there may be some overlap, there can't help but be."

Coming back to your original, and I feel, central point:   It's all about training.    And once you train someone regarding how to go about "structured noodling about" to figure out new commands and methods as they come on the scene, they're golden.

Also, as a part of training, teaching the command processing hierarchy:

1.  Windows.   If Windows doesn't recognize the command then
2.  Screen Reader.  If the screen reader doesn't recognize the command then
3.  Application

goes a long way in teaching folks how they must think about each and every command sequence they enter, and why.   It also helps to make the concept of pass-through a bit clearer, as that's necessary when the screen reader would normally process a given command, but that command is also used for a different purpose by the underlying application and you want the application to do its thing.

Trying to develop a sense of which level processes what commands makes one's own life easier, as there are occasional times where what one might expect doesn't happen, and you can then generally figure out why and how to get the result you're actually after.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1903, Build 18362  

The color of truth is grey.

           ~ André Gide

 

 

Hope Williamson
 

I might be old-fashion but if I'm using Gmail I do still use the basic HTML feature. Regarding the reply, forward etc links, those are just further actions, and aren't part of the message header. I have a different address that you actually have to click on a "further actions" link to get to the forward and reply all links.