[webkit-dev] Accessibility Object Searching

Charles Pritchard chuck at jumis.com
Tue Jun 21 17:45:36 PDT 2011

On Jun 21, 2011, at 4:30 PM, Samuel White <samuel_white at apple.com> wrote:

> Hey everybody,
> I'm new to the list and thought it would be a good idea to get some feedback on an accessibility feature before filing a bug or submitting anything. Currently, no functionality exists in WebKit to search through AccessibilityObjects using basic search criteria like next link or next table internally. Screen readers and other access devices often must instead probe WebKit and build up their own internal representation of a page before they can begin searching for what they are after. This presents two big problems for the users of access technology. First, pages such as the HTML 5 working doc have a massive number of DOM elements and building up an external representation can be a very expensive and slow task. Secondly, maintaining an accurate external representation of a site can become difficult if that site has a large amount of dynamic content and users may not be accessing relevant information.
> I would like to make a few small changes to the AccessibilityObject class that adds the functionality I've mentioned. I think these small but important additions will allow existing access technologies to rely much more on WebKits representation of a page and thus eliminate the problems I've described above. I appreciate any feedback and look forward to helping out.
> Thanks
> Sam

While you're rooting around in there, I'd love to see the tree exposed to WebKit inspector at some point. It might make ARIA a little easier to use.

I'm still months away from being a contributor-- I'm hoping to see the canvas shadow DOM made accessible, and subsequently, see paths supported by assistive technology, like Apple's gesture-based eyes-free mode in Mobile Safari/iOS.


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