Accessing new m.facebook.com interface

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.

Browser Used

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 “Title is Facebook-Google Chrome (incognito).

You can navigate the page using heading navigation key. The first level one heading will be “Facebook”. After that on hitting “H” 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 “like” 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 “d” using NVDA. It should take you to the main content land mark. Now press down arrow until you hear “What’s on your mind”. 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.

  1. Cancel (button)
  2. Update Status (Normal content)
  3. Post (button)
  4. A text box
  5. Tag people in your post (button)
  6. Add a location to post (button)
  7. Add a photo to post (button)
  8. Unlabeled 0 (button)
  9. Unlabeled 1 (button)

Type the status in the text field and hit post button. Remaining options you can explore yourself.

Reading notifications

On the home page from the top you find the heading level one “Facebook”. Now navigate down until you hear “Notifications button menu expanded has popup”. Hit enter or spacebar on this button. Now your focus will directly taken to “Notifications” heading level 2. On navigating down you can hear Notification settings” 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.

Reading Messages

While navigating to Notifications in the previous process you should have heard “Messages button menu expanded has popup”. 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 “Messages” heading level 2. On navigating down screen reader will announce “button Compose message” 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 “Main menu button” write after level one heading. Now after “Favorites” heading level 3 on the page you can find “News feed” link. Hit on this “News feeds” 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.

Friends,
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.

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