Accessible facebook is m.facebook.com. This is the statement comes out if you ask any screen reader facebook user. Recently the user interface of mobile facebook is changed a lot. Many of our screen reader users are unable to use this new interface. For the screen reader users who are facing difficulty in accessing m.facebook.com on a desktop browser I have written this blog. I have tried to put all the basic functions that you want to perform with facebook. Comments and suggestions are welcome as usual.
I have found less consistency in accessing the mobile facebook on Firefox and Internet explorer. Google Chrome is the browser I am referring in this blog. All the functionalities I am going to explain are with Google Chrome. If you find that your screen reader is not reading the content on the Google Chrome browser open a new tab incognito tab. Use control + shift + n to open a new tab incognito. Hit Control + L to move to the address bar and type m.facebook.com. Enter your credentials and login to the home page of facebook.
Reading the recent updates
To confirm that you are in the correct page use the title command insert + t with either JAWS or NVDA. It should announce â€œTitle is Facebook-Google Chrome (incognito).
You can navigate the page using heading navigation key. The first level one heading will be â€œFacebookâ€. After that on hitting â€œHâ€ you can jump from one name to another name of the friend who have updated the status recently. You can use down arrow key to read the message under each heading level 3. After the status screen reader will announce like, comment and share (optional) links. Unfortunately JAWS and NVDA will still announce â€œlikeâ€ as like even though you liked any status/photo/video. It will not read as unlike once you liked it.
Updating the simple status message.
Ensure that you are on the home page. Now hit semi colon (;) with JAWS or â€œdâ€ using NVDA. It should take you to the main content land mark. Now press down arrow until you hear â€œWhatâ€™s on your mindâ€. It will announce as normal text. Not as a button or a link. Still you can hit enter on it. Your focus will be taken to a layer with the following content in the same order.
- Cancel (button)
- Update Status (Normal content)
- Post (button)
- A text box
- Tag people in your post (button)
- Add a location to post (button)
- Add a photo to post (button)
- Unlabeled 0 (button)
- Unlabeled 1 (button)
Type the status in the text field and hit post button. Remaining options you can explore yourself.
On the home page from the top you find the heading level one â€œFacebookâ€. Now navigate down until you hear â€œNotifications button menu expanded has popupâ€. Hit enter or spacebar on this button. Now your focus will directly taken to â€œNotificationsâ€ heading level 2. On navigating down you can hear Notification settingsâ€ heading level 2 and then the actual notifications in chronological order. You can hit enter on any of the notifications to read the full content. All the notifications are links.
While navigating to Notifications in the previous process you should have heard â€œMessages button menu expanded has popupâ€. You might also hear some numbers if you have any unread messages. You can hit enter or spacebar here similar to notifications. Your screen reader focus will be taken to â€œMessagesâ€ heading level 2. On navigating down screen reader will announce â€œbutton Compose messageâ€ heading level two and the actual messages as links. You can hit any of the link and read the entire conversation.
Navigating back to home page
If you want to navigate back to the home page from any internal pages, you hit on â€œMain menu buttonâ€ write after level one heading. Now after â€œFavoritesâ€ heading level 3 on the page you can find â€œNews feedâ€ link. Hit on this â€œNews feedsâ€ link and you will be taken to the home page. Not sure it is the correct procedure but I am landed on the home page.
I have found many of our screen reader user friends are facing difficulty in accessing the facebook. I want to share my knowledge to enable at least few of them to use the facebook world. I know how all of us are attached to facebook these days. Feel free to post your comments.