Recently, I activated a new theme on DigitalA11y.com to give the blog a fresh start in terms of design and also wanted to upgrade all the old posts into Gutenberg blocks. I chose the Kadence theme as I heard it was one of the best and got started with it. The theme provided a link in the footer Scroll to Top that initially did not work when I activated. The focus visually scrolls but for a screen reader user and a keyboard user, the keyboard focus is still on the Scroll to Top link.
I reached out to developer on WordPress support forum and the developer was very responsive. During our discussion I asked the developer to move focus to “Skip to content” link and he replied that a lot of accessibility specialists he consulted suggested that focus should be set on the body tag.
Here is my question to the accessibility community, where should the focus move in this scenario?
- Moving focus to body tag will not enable screen reader to announce anything. Focus moves to body region and NVDA has no feedback for user. Pressing insert+tab to check current focus announces information that is not helpful.
- the accessible name of the link is “Scroll to Top” so as an accessibility audit specialist, my assumption is that focus moves to Skip to content link.
- The alternative option that I see is moving the focus to heading level one [H1] or the main region landmark.
While all the three solutions provided above pass the accessibility guidelines the larger question is which one of those is most optimized from the usability and user experience?
I asked the same question on LinkedIn and got few answers that are varying in views. If you are an accessibility specialist and has views to share, please do comment your thoughts.