I recently wrote a blog post about my new, potentially permanent Miniflux + Pocket workflow.
I started wondering about how it would treat a “convenience merge” between a
kbd HTML element and the list item text. To elucidate, this is when the first letter of the word is also a keyboard shortcut. For example, the key
o for the action open.
This prompted me to go down an accessibility testing rabbit hole, especially as Dan DiGangi’s tweet had been lingering in my mental to-do list.
First attempt: Firefox.
Second attempt: Chromium on Linux.
ChromeVox is a screen-reader and assist extension by Google. I have never used it before. This experiment ended so quickly with me being unable to select any voice at all!
Google had already moved Chromium to a snap, and I was hoping it would be treated better, even though I only ever use it for testing for browser compatibility. It does not look like that is the case.
It seems the solution is to compile it yourself. No-go. Most people won’t and can’t do that. This is not OK.
Third attempt: Firefox.
Open Pop!_Shop, install Orca, restart Firefox.
It’s reading text! Success!
I quickly find out that Orca does not make any differentiation what-so-ever with open, where
o is a keyboard shortcut as seen in the original text.
It reads “open” as o, brief pause, pen. That’s it. Not helpful, I guess.
Fourth attempt: boot into Windows and use Chrome.
Since Linux gets the boot, I booted into Windows and installed Chrome as well as ChromeVox.
Here’s my experience with this:
#ChromeVox on Windows works out of the box. Using the
kbdelement actually broke it! A list with 4 sub items was being read as a list with 2 items, because the first letter in the third sub-item was a
Then, while reading text, there was no announce whatsoever about the “o” key being a keyboard input. It would pause, read “o”, announce[/speak] “list item” to say now the list item was being read again in continuation before having taken the pause for “o”.Ru Singh on Fosstodon, dated 9 July 2021, 10:03 UTC+05:30
Any time I need to test for basic accessibility, I’ll probably just boot into Windows and use Chrome with ChromeVox. Unsure if this is what people actually use. Let me know if there are any alternatives that are more common and more appropriate, please?
It’s a pretty grim situation, though, for Linux users, as I see it.