An Accessibility Opportunity Hidden in Modeless Web Dialogs
In the current effort to resolve issues related to standardizing web dialogs (see ARIA issue 1708), it is proposed that the ARIA specification recommend that browsers and screen readers treat modeless dialogs as landmark regions. While the discussion has surfaced some potential benefits to modeless dialog landmarks, I believe equating modeless dialogs and landmark regions is not an optimal path. I might even go so far as to call it a huge mistake. That path would preclude extremely valuable user benefits that can only be realized if screen readers do not render boundaries of modeless dialogs the way they render boundaries of landmark regions.
If ARIA were to standardize modeless dialogs as landmark regions, we would give web authors yet another construct for doing little more than labeling a group of elements within a page. Yet, non-web platforms offer other grouping constructs with a different set of sc