moderated Re: jaws and internet input fields.

Patrick Murphy

Hi Sean,


Thanks for that. I have tried javascript as well, and although it works some of the time with some browsers, there is no way to be absolutely sure that something has been entered into the field until the form has been submitted.

In fact, with ie 11, it can get stuck, or give an uncontrollable error either on the client or server.

Using javascript along with php can be troublesome if not done correctly.

The error mechanisms for both languages can get confused if used both client and server side.

Response times etc have an effect.

For this particular web site, it is necessary to use php on both the client and server side.

I am not too worried about the “invalid entry”, as it will be heard on other web sites as well. The “required” attribute in html5 seems to be the most stable way to do this, despite its drawback with the error message.

I was just trying to make the web site a little better for screen readers, but the probability of errors occurring is too risky just to prevent jaws from saying “invalid entry”.

Again, I don’t mean just jaws, the problem also exists with nvda and window eyes as well.

It seems to be a mix between the browsers and screen readers.

There seems to be no “absolute” thing that is causing it.

I think, that it might be something to do with the “user agent” that is passed to the screen readers by the browsers.

However, even if I wanted to, I couldn’t manipulate this, as it could have huge side effects on the performance and testing of the web site.

This would also mean, that it would be manipulated for sighted users as well, perhaps leading to more side effects.

The reason that I mention the user agent string, is that some time ago, I raised a support ticket with sight and sound in the u.k. about web sites displaying differently in chrome, edge and ie.

They told me, that it was to do with the user agent string that was passed from the browsers to jaws, both 2018 and 2020.

If you look at the Netflix site with ie and chrome, you will see different layouts.

Ie displays a “browse” button to bring up the list of navigation links such as series films etc.

If you access the same site using chrome, there is no browse button, but the list of links are automatically shown.

Perhaps, I am spending too much time on this just to get rid of something that appears on other web sites anyway.

There is an fs open call coming up today, and I may bring this up on that call.




From: [] On Behalf Of Sean Murphy
Sent: Thursday 28 May 2020 11:37
Subject: Re: jaws and internet input fields.




If invalid is being heard by a screen reader because you are using required attribute. This is the behaviour of Firefox and Chrome with both screen readers. Using aria-required doesn’t address the issue. You have to use aria-invalid=”false” and have a JavaScript to change the aria-invisible to true. Not sure if php can do this. Don’t work in that language. If you want more specifics, I can dig up the article which explains this.


Note: ie11 does not do this. Safari on the Mac does not do this.




From: <> On Behalf Of Patrick Murphy
Sent: Thursday, 28 May 2020 5:36 PM
Subject: Re: jaws and internet input fields.




yes, the input fields are in a table.

i am using this, as a way of keeping everything straight on the screen, for want of a better explanation.

i have designed a web template, that looks ok according to other people.

as a result, i use this template, when developing further web sites, with a few tweeks from it depending on what the user wants.

you are right to some extent with the aria-required attribute.

however, i am using php on the server side to validate, and depending on the browser used, it doesn't always work.

its not just php, form validation can also fail with javascript in some cases as well when using this attribute.

using this attribute allong with the "required" standard html attribute doesn't work either, in that the "invalid entry" comes back.

from the research i have done, it looks sort of like a needle in a hay stack.

jaws blaims the browsers, and the browsers blaim jaws.

i am just using jaws here, but the problem persists in other screen readers like window eyes and nvda.

maybe its not a big deal, as users of jaws would be seeing this all over the place when it comes to filling in forms. as a blind person, i'm just trying to make it as accessible as i can.

sighted users have no problems with my layout.

it would be nice to get a perspective on this, perhaps from someone who is involved with technical support when it comes to jaws.

is there anyone on this forum from freedom scientific that would like to comment on this?

it would be great to get more technical information in relation to this, and whether it is possible in some way, to fix this eventually with a jaws update.

anyway, i will keep at it and see if i find anything else. if i do, i will let you know.

was there anything else you saw that you think i should change?

as i said, developing this, sometimes, i cannot see the wood for the trees!!

these things need a fresh eye from time to time. i am putting this together for my friend, and god bless him, he wouldn't have a clue as to what is good or bad when it comes to the layout of web sites.

kind regards and thanks



From: [] On Behalf Of kevin meyers
Sent: Wednesday 27 May 2020 18:57
Subject: Re: jaws and internet input fields.




I had one html/css class. I don’t have anywhere near the experience you have. I looked at your html on the contact page. It looks like the fields requiring input are in a table. Is that correct. Just wondering.


One of my assignments I created a contact page. I just checked it out and the invalid doesn’t show up. Here is what I used on one of the fields. Not sure this anything that could help you.


                                             <div><label for="first_name">First name:</label>

                                  <input type="text" name="first_name" id="first_name" maxlength="20" aria-required="true"/><br>



I have a question for you. I have a web site a friend created. He is no longer able to work on it and there is a problem on the contact page. Just like yours it does say invalid and required. The problem I’m having is when I submit the form. I get the 404 error. Do you know anything about this error?


My site is


Who hosts your domain?








From: <> On Behalf Of Patrick Murphy
Sent: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 8:53 AM
Subject: Re: jaws and internet input fields.


Hi Kevin,


You can go to

From here select the link.

Now you will be presented with a form.

It will ask for name, email, phone, query and a random number.

You can find the random number displayed on the label just above the input field.

Enter this, and click the “ask us” button if you want to submit the form.

However, there is no need to submit it to see what I am talking about.

When the form is presented, if you press “e” it will take you to the first edit box.

Here you will hear “enter full name invalid entry”.

Jaws is reporting that the entry in the field is invalid, and quite rightly so, as it is currently empty.

The large text area box for the query does not even report its own label.

The random number box does not report its label either, but this is because it is being generated when the page is loaded.

That problem is for another day!!

However, this can be unhelpful for the user.

I have tried having a default in the name/email/phone number fields, but this would allow the user to submit rubbish as it is then not required because it already has a value.

I have done some research, and it suggests, that this has been happening since jaws 2013.

It is not just jaws, people have reported the same thing using nvda and window eyes.

However, it also suggests, that chrome based browsers have something to do with it.

It does not seem to be as prevalent in browsers such as firefox or internet explorer.

I am not speaking for myself here, this is just what I can find out on the internet.

It seems to be the “required” attribute on html5 that is causing it.

The aria-required attribute does not fix it either.

Perhaps, I am too close to this, as I am developing it.

“can’t see the wood for the trees”!!!.

Anyway, if you see something, please let me know, even if it is not relevant here.

I may have overlooked further accessibility features.

Don’t worry if something breaks, I am still developing it.




From: [] On Behalf Of kevin meyers
Sent: Wednesday 27 May 2020 14:03
Subject: Re: jaws and internet input fields.


What is the url for your web site?



From: <> On Behalf Of Patrick Murphy
Sent: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 6:23 AM
Subject: Re: jaws and internet input fields.




This is to do with jaws 2018/2020.

The field i have to input on the web site is a “required” field.

When focus is on it, the message that jaws reports is “required invalid entry”.

This happens the first time you set focus to it, because there is nothing in it.

Once you input something, it works fine in that it does not tell you that it is required, or invalid entry because there is something in it.

If you take the text out of it, it defaults back to “required invalid entry”.

There is no problem with this if someone without a screen reader is using the site, but from an accessibility point of view, its not good.

I am developing this site myself. So far, i have found no accessible route around this, despite looking up the various accessibility guide lines (wcag2) etc.

Am i missing something?

Is anyone a programmer out there that has found an accessible work around for this?

Just for your information, the web site is written using html and php. On this particular page, there is no java script.

The fields are always blank when the page is presented to the user.



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