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Opened 11 years ago

Closed 10 years ago

#24148 closed enhancement (fixed)

Add aria-labelledby attributes to comment form

Reported by: joedolson's profile joedolson Owned by: sergeybiryukov's profile SergeyBiryukov
Milestone: 4.1 Priority: normal
Severity: normal Version: 3.5
Component: Comments Keywords: has-patch
Focuses: accessibility Cc:


The aria-labelledby attribute provides a means for screen readers to get additional context for inputs when there is additional labeling information provided. In the default comment form, information such as the fact that email will not be published or that HTML tags and attributes can be used can only be viewed through a separate pass through the form not in forms mode. Adding these attributes means that a screen reader will read both blocks of text as the label for the field.

Attachments (4)

comment-template.php.patch (4.0 KB) - added by joedolson 11 years ago.
Updated patch for aria-labelledby
24148.2.patch (3.6 KB) - added by joedolson 10 years ago.
Updated patch
comment-field.mp3 (256.7 KB) - added by GaryJ 10 years ago.
24148.3.patch (3.6 KB) - added by bramd 10 years ago.
Use aria-describedby for the help text on the comment field and remove aria-labeledby attribute since the relation is already made using <label for="...">

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (19)

#1 @SergeyBiryukov
11 years ago

  • Type changed from defect (bug) to enhancement
  • Version changed from trunk to 3.5

#2 @obenland
11 years ago

Do we really need additional html elements for the ids? Can't the labels or the p elements carry them with the same effect?

11 years ago

Updated patch for aria-labelledby

#3 follow-up: @joedolson
11 years ago

That occurred to me as well pretty well immediately after posting the patch. We can use the label to carry the ID for the comment form, eliminating that extra HTML element, but need to keep the span element for the email address notice. Adding the id to the paragraph element there would mean that the required text string would be included in the label as well, which would be redundant as it is already announced as required because of the aria-required attribute. New patch attached.

#4 @bramd
11 years ago

Shouldn't we use aria-describedby here to associate the email notice? THen it will usually be spoken after the contents of the field by screenreaders.

#5 @joedolson
11 years ago

The same is true of aria-labelled by; mostly it's a question of whether the additional text is an extended description of the field or an extension of the label. But either will work and be perfectly acceptable, functionally.

#6 @nacin
10 years ago

  • Component changed from Accessibility to Comments
  • Focuses accessibility added

#7 in reply to: ↑ 3 @GaryJ
10 years ago

How come the comment label gets an id attribute that is then referenced in the aria-labelledby attribute for the comment field (good), but the email label gets an extra wrapping span with an id and that's referenced in the aria-labelledby attribute in the email field instead? Why the inconsistent approach (direct ID versus wrapping span with ID)? The required span is already completely inside the label, and the label is wholly inside the new extra span. The latest patch is:

<span id="email-label"><label ...>...</label></span>

Could it not be:

<label ... id="email-label">...</label>


#8 @joedolson
10 years ago

I have no memory of why I might have done that; it doesn't seem logical. It's probably just a mistake...

10 years ago

Updated patch

#9 @joedolson
10 years ago

Patch refreshed. Cleaner HTML, doesn't have all the extra span elements. Does still add a span element surrounding "Your email address will not be published"; this is because wrapping the entire paragraph includes the required field notice, which is redundant combined with aria-required, which already announces the fact that the field is required.

10 years ago

#10 @GaryJ
10 years ago

How do user agents handle references to ID elements that don't exist (as in, what happens if comment_notes_before and comment_notes_after are filtered to be an empty string?

Have you listened to what the comment field is now announced as? Listen to (also attached as an MP3 for future reference). As a non-AT user by default, that doesn't sound as helpful as it could be.

Here's a transcription of the the start of what's read aloud by ChromeVox (spoken letters in capitals):

"comment you may use these HTML tags and attributes colon less than A HREF equal quote quote title equal quote quote greater than less than ABBR title equal quote quote greater than less than acronym title equal quote quote greater than less than B greater than less than..."

Would it be any clearer for non-visual users to have something like:

""comment you may use these HTML tags and attributes colon A with HREF and title attributes, ABBR with title attribute, acronym with title attribute, B, ..." out instead?

If so, then assuming #29699 goes in, we could check for screen-reader-text support and have a friendly version for screen readers which is referenced from comment field aria-labelledby, and hide the original visual markup with aria-hidden.

Incidentally, ChromeVox consistently cut-off at the same place each time when reading out the visual markup, just after reading the "cite" tag. I don't know if this is a bug with ChromeVox, or my setup, or something about the length of the sentence or other issue that may affect other text-to-speech implementations.

#11 @joedolson
10 years ago

I wouldn't recommend using ChromeVox as a good basis for testing; it's not heavily used as an AT resource. For a free screen reader testing option, use NVDA. (See

I didn't test this using ChromeVox. A user agent should ignore the attribute value if the target doesn't exist, so that should be fairly harmless.

NVDA reads this fine, using default settings. Reading of punctuation is configurable, so if somebody has less than/gt signs configured to be read, that would be different, but they're read understandably normally.

10 years ago

Use aria-describedby for the help text on the comment field and remove aria-labeledby attribute since the relation is already made using <label for="...">

#12 @bramd
10 years ago

Last patch has been tested by me and others in NVDA + Firefox, JAWS + IE and VoiceOver on Mac + Safari. I think this is ready to be commited.

This ticket was mentioned in IRC in #wordpress-ui by RianRietveld. View the logs.

10 years ago

#14 @SergeyBiryukov
10 years ago

  • Milestone changed from Awaiting Review to 4.1

#15 @SergeyBiryukov
10 years ago

  • Owner set to SergeyBiryukov
  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Status changed from new to closed

In 29846:

Add aria-describedby attributes to comment_form().

props joedolson, bramd.
fixes #24148.

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