When using a screen reader or other assistive technology devices, is the user alerted to important content changes without interrupting their work?
Why is this important?
Sighted users can observe and interact with visible content changes or updates on the screen (e.g. error messages, progress bars, shopping carts). People who are blind or have low vision using assistive technology might not be aware of these changes. To be accessible, status messages alert assistive technology users to these changes without moving focus away from their current location on the screen. This allows them to hear the changes or updates being made without interrupting their work or disorienting them on the page.
Whom does it benefit?
As a student with low vision who purchases textbooks online,
I want my screen reader to announce when I add an item to my shopping cart
so that I can hear it has been added.
As a student who is blind using a screen reader,
I want to hear immediate feedback if I enter incorrect information into a form field
so that I can correct it right away.
What should you do?
Ensure people who use screen readers and other assistive technology devices are aware of changing content that is happening on the screen but does not distract or interrupt their work.
How do you do it?
Common techniques include but are not limited to:
- use ARIA role=status to present status message
- use ARIA role=alert or Live Regions to identify errors
- use ARIA role=log to identify sequential information updates
- use role=”progressbar” to convey the progress of a process
- use role=status to present status messages.
Need technical guidance?
Technical guidance is available for implementing this Success Criterion at the Understanding Success Criterion 4.1.3: Status Messages page.
Additional Resources to help you