In content implemented using markup languages, status messages can be programmatically determined through role or properties so that messages can be presented by assistive technologies without receiving focus. (Level AA)

Rationale

Objective: Let assistive technologies notify users about messages in the content that don’t take focus

This checkpoint is intended to alert users of changes in status, such as new text appearing or a busy state ending. The key intended beneficiaries are blind and low vision users who may not perceive status messages.

Note that "status messages" are defined by WCAG as messages that provide information on things like the success or results of a user action, but that do not change the user's context (i.e., take focus). This does not suggest that messages that take focus are forbidden; merely, such messages do not qualify as status messages and thus do not need to meet this checkpoint. The WCAG Understanding document provides multiple examples of messages that meet this criteria, as well as examples of messages that do not.

Refer to Understanding 4.1.3 (external link to WCAG) for more information.

Development Techniques

This paragraph appears generically in all checkpoints. Review the General techniques as well as other tabs applicable to your technology.  Prioritize the use of technology-specific techniques, and implement the General techniques as needed. You are always required to find, understand and implement accessible code techniques to meet the checkpoint. The documented techniques and supplements are not exhaustive; they illustrate acceptable ways to achieve the spirit of the checkpoint. If numbered, techniques are in order of preference, with recommended techniques listed first. Where used, IBM information that complements the WCAG techniques is indicated as supplemental.

General techniques

Instructions: Select the situation below that matches your content. Items in the described situation represent a technique or combination of techniques deemed sufficient for meeting this checkpoint. Ensure you review WCAG Common Failures to avoid development mistakes.

Situation A: If a status message advises on the success or results of an action, or the state of an application

Situation B: If a status message conveys a suggestion, or a warning on the existence of an error

Situation C: If a status message conveys information on the progress of a process

General Supplements

Using markup features to programmatically determine status messages so they can be presented to the user by assistive technologies without receiving focus

The objective of this technique is to allow assistive technology to identify status messages so that they can be conveyed to the user without taking focus. This can be accomplished with WAI-ARIA (see Web techniques) and may also be appropriate for some other technologies.

Even when the status messages are part of content that supports accessibility, it is essential that some information be provided by the author. For example, a status message may be presented in a paragraph element, but the author still has to provide the role or property that designates the paragraph as containing content that can be dynamically updated, and that indicates the relative importance of the update.

Web (HTML, ARIA, CSS) techniques

In addition to the General techniques, these techniques are deemed sufficient in the following situations when used as instructed.

Situation A: If a status message advises on the success or results of an action, or the state of an application

Complete both techniques.

Situation B: If a status message conveys a suggestion, or a warning on the existence of an error

Use the following technique IN COMBINATION with the Situation B General technique examples which use a status message to convey warnings or errors to users.

Situation C: If a status message conveys information on the progress of a process

Mobile Native (iOS) techniques

There are no specific Mobile Native iOS techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.

Eclipse techniques

There are no specific Eclipse techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.

Windows-based (MSAA+IA2) techniques

There are no specific Windows-based (MSAA+IA2) techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.


Many links in this checklist reside outside ibm.com at the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. W3C Recommendation 05 June 2018: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/

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