ISSUE-702: The ARIA Roles Model spec states that keyboard support for interactive widgets is optional, not required, which it should be.

The word SHOULD for keyboard support is unclear in the Roles Model spec

The ARIA Roles Model spec states that keyboard support for interactive widgets is optional, not required, which it should be.

State:
CLOSED
Product:
ARIA 1.2
Raised by:
Bryan Garaventa
Opened on:
2015-02-19
Description:
The relevant email thread for this topic is available at
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-pfwg/2014Dec/0121.html

To reiterate, I was reading through the spec,
http://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria-1.1/

and noticed that within all of the interactive widget roles, such as Menu, Menubar, Listbox, Grid, etc., the following text is used:
"authors SHOULD manage focus of descendants for all instances of this role, as described in Managing Focus."

However, in section 2.3 Managing Focus, at
http://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria-1.1/#managingfocus
It states:
"Content authors are required to manage focus on the following container roles:" ...

Since all interactive ARIA widgets would be inaccessible if they are not made keyboard accessible as indicated, the use of the word "SHOULD" is misleading for developers and implies that ensuring keyboard accessibility is optional.

This should instead be changed to a "MUST" to make it clear that all interactive ARIA widgets must include keyboard support in order to ensure accessibility as documented within "Managing Focus".
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Related notes:

decided to move to ARIA 2.0 due to waiting for mobile infrastructure to catch up.

Richard Schwerdtfeger, 18 Jun 2015, 17:32:21

will review editorial changes in 1.2

Richard Schwerdtfeger, 13 Oct 2016, 17:32:54

Closed

James Nurthen, 3 May 2018, 18:27:05

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