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Assistive Technologies
Phabricator Contributor Documentation (Developer Guides)

Information about making Phabricator accessible to assistive technologies.

Overview

Assistive technologies help people with disabilities use the web. For example, screen readers can assist people with limited or no eyesight by reading the contents of pages aloud.

Phabricator has some support for assistive technologies, and we'd like to have more support. This document describes how to use the currently available features to improve the accessibility of Phabricator.

Aural-Only Elements

The most common issue assistive technologies encounter is buttons, links, or other elements which only convey information visually (usually through an icon or image).

These elements can be made more accessible by providing an aural-only label. This label will not be displayed by visual browsers, but will be read by screen readers.

To add an aural-only label to an element, use javelin_tag() with the aural attribute:

javelin_tag(
  'span',
  array(
    'aural' => true,
  ),
  pht('Aural Label Here'));

This label should be placed inside the button or link that you are labeling.

You can also use aural on a container to provide an entirely different replacement element, but should be cautious about doing this.

NOTE: You must use javelin_tag(), not phutil_tag(), to get support for this attribute.

Visual-Only Elements

Occasionally, a visual element should be hidden from screen readers. This should be rare, but some textual elements convey very little information or are otherwise disruptive for aural users.

This technique can also be used to offer a visual alternative of an element and a different aural alternative element. However, this should be rare: it is usually better to adapt a single element to work well for both visual and aural users.

You can mark an element as visual-only by using javelin_tag() with the aural attribute:

javelin_tag(
  'span',
  array(
    'aural' => false,
  ),
  $ascii_art);

Previewing Aural Pages

To verify aural markup, you can add ?__aural__=1 to any page URI. This will make Phabricator render the page with styles that reveal aural-only elements and mute visual-only elements.