Firefox 3.0.2 has been released, lots of accessibility improvements

As was announced on the Mozilla blog, Firefox and 3.0.2 security updates are now available. In addition to the security fixes, there have been a couple of significant accessibility improvements made to Firefox 3.0.2 that I’d like to give you all a heads-up on.

  • Firefox 3.0.2 is now compatible with JAWS 7.10. In an effort to make Firefox accessible to the widest range of users possible, we’ve identified and fixed a problem that prevented Firefox 3.0 and 3.0.1 from working with JAWS 7.10. If you previously tried to use Firefox 3.0.1 with JAWS 7.10, you would get a crash in Firefox almost instantly after launching it.
  • Similarly, we’ve identified and fixed a problem that prevented proper interaction between Firefox 3.0.1 and the public beta of JAWS 10. With some elements, if they were made visible dynamically, JAWS would not be able to pick them up correctly.
  • Fixes were put in for the doAction and doDefaultAction methods to allow clickables and some other elements like the “Compose” link in GMail to be properly activated by some versions of some screen readers. We previously had a bug that prevented these elements from being activated through the virtual buffers, requiring users to use mouse emulation to activate these elements.
  • Elements within a map element that were not images would previously not be rendered to any screen reader by Firefox. This has been fixed.
  • A random crash that occurred with some layout tables was fixed.
  • And a couple of API fixes were also made to ensure better compatibility with assistive technologies on both Windows and Linux.

I recommend you update to Firefox 3.0.2 as soon as possible to be able to take advantage of these and the other fixes that went into this release. Enjoy!


9 thoughts on “Firefox 3.0.2 has been released, lots of accessibility improvements

  1. one of the areas that i still see causing problems in firefox is the inability to tab in/out of flash movies in a page (with a plain-vanilla firefox…not sure if a screenreader running on top fixes this somehow). this could be an issue with firefox, adobe’s flash plugin, or a combination of the two, but it would be great if this could be looked at at some point.

  2. I agree with Patrick in that keyboard users are unable to tab into and out of flash content. In FF the tab skips the content. In IE (7 at least) the tab key enters the Flash object, tabs around it, and then leaves to return to the page. Is this something that people are generally aware of? I’ve read a few discussions about it on the web but not found any conclusions yet.

  3. @Charlie and @Patrick: We are painfully aware of this issue. This issue has been around for a while, and we have an initiative going now to finally get it fixed once and for all in Firefox 3.1. If you’re interested, see Bug 78414 – Application shortcut keys (keyboard commands such as f11, ctrl+t, ctrl+r) fail to operate when plug-in (flash, acrobat, quicktime) has focus and Bug 93149 – No way to move focus between plugin and browser from keyboard

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.