Support live regions in MSHTML #1846

nvaccessAuto opened this Issue Oct 17, 2011 · 11 comments

1 participant


Reported by bgaraventa on 2011-10-17 05:41
When the ARIA attribute role=span is used to dynamically announce new text within Rich Internet Applications, NVDA says nothing.
This can be observed on the demo page at
by typing one letter into the text input field, such as "a". The hidden span tag where the first entry is inserted uses the following ARIA attributes:

Even so, nothing is announced by NVDA when text is inserted into the element.
Blocking #3902


Comment 1 by jteh on 2011-10-17 06:02
I doubt the fact that this is a span is relevant, so changing the summary.

How is the span hidden? If you're using CSS display: none, you're suggesting that the span should be invisible to screen readers as well. It needs to be off-screen but not hidden.
Changed title from "The use of ARIA role=span has no support in NVDA" to "aria-live=assertive not working"


Comment 2 by bgaraventa on 2011-10-17 06:55
I understand, the span is not totally hidden in that manner. Actually this implementation works fine on the page at
When using Firefox, click the Core API tab, and you should hear "Please wait" and then "Ready" when the page finishes loading. This does not work in IE8 however.

The following CSS is used to hide the span tag visually:
style="font-size:0; height:0; width:0; position:absolute; overflow:hidden; z-index:-1000;"

It appears that the activation of edit mode in NVDA has some negative effect regarding this, but I'm not sure why this would be.


Comment 3 by jteh on 2011-10-17 07:13
Live regions aren't currently supported in IE, only in Firefox.

Can you give me some way of finding the span tag in the DOM on your demo page; e.g. directions relevant to the input field?


Comment 4 by bgaraventa on 2011-10-17 08:39
Unfortunately not, the span is dynamically generated by the AccDC API for about 1 second before it is removed from the DOM.

I'll work on an uploadable sample tomorrow with static elements.


Comment 5 by bgaraventa on 2011-10-17 09:53
Arg, it looks like the issue was on my end after all. I'm sorry about that. Firefox wasn't calling a prototyped function in the same manner as IE. Problem solved, now the demo works properly in NVDA. :)

Thanks for the help.
State: closed


Comment 6 by bgaraventa on 2011-10-17 14:11
Hi, actually I closed the bug a bit too early. One issue remaining, is that the automatic announcement of the incoming messages is not announced in IE8.

I know you said that IE doesn't support live regions, yet IE8 actually does, which is why it works perfectly in JAWS, where incoming messages are automatically announced.

It would be great if support for this browser could be similarly added.

Thank you again for all of your help :)
State: reopened


Comment 7 by jteh on 2011-10-17 22:07
Technically speaking, IE doesn't support live regions, but then, IE doesn't support many things in terms of accessibility. Screen readers have to directly interrogate the DOM for many things. The same is true for live regions; we need to watch the DOM for changes and then check for live regions on every change. Unfortunately, this is not at all trivial and we have no current near-term plans to do it.
Changed title from "aria-live=assertive not working" to "Support live regions in MSHTML"


Comment 10 by Michael Curran <mick@... on 2014-04-15 02:33
In [6cbc707]:
```CommitTicketReference repository="" revision="6cbc707d3a8aaf39ee084c762c626a466f2a0981"
Merge branch 't1846' into next (live regions for Internet Explorer). Incubates #1846

Added labels: incubating

Comment 11 by mdcurran on 2014-04-15 02:36
Milestone changed from None to next


Comment 12 by Michael Curran <mick@... on 2014-04-30 23:09
In [b58777b]:
```CommitTicketReference repository="" revision="b58777b2adc52c921f07227b1469f1a91e0cccc0"
Merge branch 't1846'. Fixes #1846

Removed labels: incubating
State: closed

Comment 13 by mdcurran on 2014-04-30 23:11
Milestone changed from next to 2014.2

@nvaccessAuto nvaccessAuto added this to the 2014.2 milestone Nov 10, 2015
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