2.1 Accessing Form Pages Using JAWS

Many of the pages in Oracle Application Express are form pages designed for maintaining application metadata. This section describes how you can gain an understanding of the structure of these pages and interact with them using a screen reader such as JAWS.

2.1.1 About the Structure of Pages

Many form pages are logically broken up into different regions. For example, the Edit Page Item page has the following regions containing form fields for maintaining information about the page item:

  • Name

  • Displayed

  • Label

  • Settings

  • List of Values (depending on item type)

  • Element

  • Source

  • Default

  • Quick Picks (depending on item type)

  • Conditions

  • Read Only

  • Security

  • Configuration

  • Help Text

  • Comments

Oracle Application Express uses Heading (Hn) tags throughout its development interface to define page structure. For example, the Edit Page Item page contains one H1 heading with text pertaining to the current item name, and then H2 headings for all other discrete page sections, including all the item attribute groupings listed above. Please use standard screen reader heading navigation to navigation such pages.

2.1.2 Accessing Help Text

Most items within the Oracle Application Express development environment have field-level help defined. To activate field-level help, focus on the item for which you need help and press the keyboard shortcut ALT+F1. Pressing this keyboard shortcut displays a popup window containing the help text.

2.1.3 Dealing with Validation Errors

Oracle Application Express provides many in-built features that help a JAWS user deal validation errors on form pages. About Understanding the an Error Has Occurred

If a validation has failed on a form page when using Screen Reader mode, the page title is prefixed with the following:

x errors have occurred - [page title]

When a page loads, JAWS announces the page title. This means a JAWS user immediately knows a validation has failed. Reviewing the Error

To navigate to the section of the page where the error messages displays, locate the H2 (Heading Level 2) tag with the text "n error has occurred" (where 'n' is the number of errors). Immediately after this heading there will be an unordered list containing all the errors that have occurred on the page. Navigating to the Relevant Fields to Fix the Errors

For validations that are associated with a particular page item, Oracle Application Express renders the actual error message as a link in the notification section. When a user activates the link, focus shifts to the associated item. This enables all users to easily navigate straight to the page item related to the error. About WAI-ARIA Support

Oracle Application Express includes some Web Accessibility Initiative - Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) markup to help screen reader usability in dealing effectively with item errors. This enhancement improves the screen reader user experience for screen reader and browser combinations that support WAI-ARIA.

When an error occurs relating to a specific page item, that page item is given the following additional attributes:

  • aria-invalid="true"

    This means a screen reader announces "Invalid Entry"when the screen reader user is focused on the page item.

  • aria-describedby="[page_item_name]_error"

    This attribute value matches up with the item's associated error messages so when the screen reader user focuses on the page item, the screen reader announces the actual error.

Before this enhancement, if a screen reader user navigated to a page item that had an error, the screen reader might announce, "Job, Edit, Type of Text." Now the screen reader would announce, "Job Edit, Invalid Entry, Job must have some value, Type of Text."


If you are a plug-in item developer and want to provide the same WAI-ARIA support in your own plug-in, please see the APEX_ERROR.GET_ARIA_ERROR_ATTRIBUTES function in Oracle Application Express API Reference.