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Focusable elements should fire focus event / receive :focus styling when they receive Narrator/accessibility focus

This issue relates to a current inconsistency among different AT, particularly evident on touchscreen devices. See https://patrickhlauke.github.io/touch/tests/results/#mobile-tablet-touchscreen-assistive-technology-events / https://twitter.com/patrick_h_lauke/status/788496138966106112

In iOS/VoiceOver/Safari, when a focusable element (link, button...but some special casing seems to happen for text entry fields and similar) receives VO focus, the JavaScript focus event is fired and CSS :focus styles apply. In most other OS/AT/browser combinations, this is currently not the case - accessibility focus does not trigger focus() / :focus.

This has been brought up in the past with Mozilla with regards to Android/TalkBack/Firefox (xref https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1000082) and just now with Google for Android/TalkBack/Chrome (xref https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=657157)

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    Patrick H. Lauke shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    3 comments

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      • Patrick H. Lauke commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        > This issue was never understood.

        Sorry, was unaware this was causing confusion. Let me retrospectively add some more information. Specifically, this is about Narrator on a Windows 10 Mobile device.

        When swiping left/right, setting the reading/accessibility focus, focus)/:focus is not fired.

        As an example, with Narrator running, open Edge and navigate to https://patrickhlauke.github.io/touch/tests/event-listener.html - then swipe right to set the accessibility focus (indicated by the yellow outline) on the "Test button". focus() is not fired, :focus style is not applied. Only once double-tapping to activate is focus()/:focus triggered.

        This is particularly noticeable in the case of skip links that are hidden by default and only made visible on :focus. In Safari/VO/iOS, you can swipe to set focus to the hidden skip link, and the :focus styles kick in making it visible. This does not happen in Narrator/Edge/Windows 10 Mobile combo, meaning a (partially) sighted Narrator user won't visually see the skip link (though they can still activate it).

      • Patrick H. Lauke commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        At a very high level, the request here is "cursor/focus should follow narrator/accessibility focus (with slight exceptions/special-casing for touch devices where a 'real' focus on a text entry field or similar triggers special behavior/interactions like on-screen keyboards)"

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