We on the Reader team are delighted to have a guest post today from Google usability expert T.V. Raman, who has announced on the Google Blog that Reader now supports ARIA-powered screenreading. Our thanks go out to T.V. and to Charles Chen, fellow Googler and creator of FireVox, for their work in enabling more people than ever to benefit from Reader. Here's T.V.'s post on how to get started:
ARIA For Google Reader: In Praise Of Timely Information Access!
Here are instructions on how to set up fluent spoken feedback from screenreaders and self-voicing browsers when using Google Reader.
Spoken output support in Google Reader is implemented using Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA), an evolving standard for enhancing the accessibility of Web-2.0 applications. WAI-ARIA is supported at present by Firefox --- with future support forthcoming in other browsers. ARIA support in Google Reader has been tested in the following environments:
- Fire Vox The self-voicing extension to Firefox
- Firefox 3 with JFW 8.0 and Window-Eyes 5.5
- Portable Firefox 3 with both JFW 8.0 and Window-Eyes 5.5
Note that Firefox 3 is still in Beta and that ARIA support like the underlying standard is still in development. ARIA support in Google Reader is designed to help end-users experience the benefits of a powerful Web-2.0 application, while giving browser implementors and adaptive technology vendors a real-world application on which to test their implementations.
Activating ARIA Support In Google Reader
When you first open Google Reader using a screenreader, you will hear an invisible link labeled click here for ARIA enhanced Google Reader. Follow this link to activate ARIA support. You can bookmark the resulting page for future use.
Once on the ARIA-enabled Google Reader, press ? to hear a list of available keyboard commands. Power users note: most of these keyboard commands are available in the default version of Google Reader.
Please send all feedback to Google Group Accessible.