[accesscomp] IE 9 Accessibility concerns

  • From: "Reginald George" <adapt@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Adaptive technology information and support." <ati@xxxxxxxxxxx>, <accesscomp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 10 May 2011 09:59:39 -0500

Recently I was pointed to this note on accessibility considerations from the
Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 web site.  I reproduce it here for everyone's
edification.  Those running XP don't even need to worry about this as the
browser will not be available for that platform.  No one using magnification
software should be upgrading at this time, and screen readers are claiming
support, but it's not pretty.  My only comment, and I shouldn't even make
it, is why didn't the Internet Explorer team work with the vendors to insure
some kind of better solution for us before the program was released?  The AT
vendors can only do so much.  Especially when Microsoft takes away the
technologies that made it accessible in the first place.  I've been hearing
Windows 7 mobile for smart phones would be accessible also for a year now,
and absolutely nothing has happened.  Things would appear to really be going
down hill.

The direct link to this information may be found at the following location.



Accessibility Considerations
Internet Explorer 9
At this time Internet Explorer 9 is not fully functional with some Assistive
Technology. If you use Assistive Technology, we recommend that you check
with your specific provider to determine if it is compatible with Internet
Explorer 9.
Web pages appear blank when using screen review commands such as the JAWS
cursor or Window-Eyes Mouse Pointer.
This is caused by the use Direct2D for rendering. There is no workaround at
this time, but the Internet Explorer team is working with Assistive
Technology vendors to resolve this issue. Please check with your specific
provider to determine if it is compatible with Internet Explorer 9.
Font Smoothing from screen magnifiers such as ZoomText no longer works in
Internet Explorer 9.
Magnification still works, but font smoothing does not. There is no
workaround for this issue.
Text in edit boxes is unable to be edited when using Window-Eyes screen
Text within edit boxes cannot be read by Window-Eyes when Browse Mode is
off. We are working with GW Micro to resolve this issue.
Problems reading web content using JAWS Virtual PC mode.
When reading web content using JAWS Virtual PC mode, there are two issues
you might notice. One issue is that some webpage content and some form
controls such as radio buttons or check boxes are missing. The other issue
you might notice is multiple blank lines and space characters when reading
webpages. These two issues are resolved in the latest JAWS 12 release;
however, in JAWS 12 there is a different issue of some edit boxes being
repeated twice. The edit boxes which are repeated twice do not accept input.
Using Compatibility View resolves these issues in both JAWS 12 and previous
versions. To turn on Compatibility View, press Alt+D and tab to the
Compatibility View button, or press Alt+T, v from the Internet Explorer
Notification Bar popups are not read by all Assistive Technology software.
The new Internet Explorer 9 Notification bar replaces the Internet Explorer
8 Information Bar. Many notifications are available in the notification bar
including downloads, blocked popups, password manager, and add-on
notifications. Not all Assistive Technology are able to detect that a
notification bar is present, or read the bar if focus is placed in it.
Please check with your specific provider to determine if it is compatible
with Internet Explorer 9.
As a partial workaround, you can turn on Internet Explorer sounds to get
notified that a notification bar is present (Tools Menu - Internet Options -
Advanced - check Play System sounds). To place focus in the notification bar
please press Alt+N.
Internet Explorer Sounds are off by Default
Sounds have been turned off in Internet Explorer 9. You can turn them back
on by going to Tools Menu - Internet Options - Advanced - check Play System
Hotkey changes
A few hotkeys have changed in Internet Explorer 9:
Ctrl+J now will open the Internet Explorer download manager instead of
opening feeds. You can open feeds in Internet Explorer 9 with Ctrl+G.
Ctrl+E now places focus in the address bar because the search box has been
combined with the address bar. When you press Ctrl+E, focus is placed in the
address bar with a question mark and space already populated for you. You
can search from the Internet Explorer 9 address bar the same way you
searched from the Internet Explorer 8 search box.

Reginald George
Adaptive Technology Specialist
Kansas City Missouri

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