In content implemented using markup languages, status messages can be programmatically determined through role or properties such that they can be presented to the user by assistive technologies without receiving focus.

Testing & Remediation

How to test: Using a screenreader, access your site and begin entering information into text inputs. Anytime a status message is presented, ensure that this message is read aloud by the screenreader. Example - a screen reader user is browsing an e-commerce site and purchases a product. On the order success page, an update message is provided with text stating how the order was successfully submitted but this message does not receive user focus. If the message is coded as an alert, the user will be informed that their order was successful. If the message was not coded as an alert, the user may not know whether or not their order was successful or may have to tab all the way through the page again to find this information. How to remediate: There are a few situations that will require separate techniques or combinations of techniques:
  • If a status message advises on the success or results of an action, or the state of an application:
    • Use ARIA role=status to present status messages in combination with:
      • Providing success feedback when data is submitted successfully
  • If a status message conveys a suggestion, or a warning on the existence of an error:
    • Use ARIA role=alert or Live Regions to identify errors with any of the following:
      • Providing text descriptions to identify required fields that were not completed
      • Providing a text description when the user provides information that is not in the list of allowed values
      • Providing a text description when user input falls outside the required format for values
      • Providing suggested correction text
      • Providing spell checking and suggestions for text input
  • If a status message conveys information on the progress of a process:
    • Use ARIA role=log to identify sequential information updates
    • Use role="progressbar"
    • Use role=status to present status messages in combination with providing help by an assistant in the web page

Questions and Answers

How long does the accessibliity process take?

This question depends on a number of factors including size of site, desired level of conformance, your developer's understanding of accessibility techniques, etc. Accessible Web is here to help. Reach out and we can discuss your site specifically.