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Adding Help Description to Fields
When designing Notes applications with Domino Designer, field help can be added to certain editable fields
by entering help text into the Help Description property for the given field.
The Help Description property is found on the third tab in the Field properties dialog.
JAWS will read this help description to a JAWS screen reader user, when the editable field has focus and the user types Ctrl + Shift + H.
Link to Lotus Notes Accessibility Checklist
Defining field help is a required development technique of checkpoint 5.2 in the IBM Lotus Notes Accessibility checklist.
Field help should be defined for all editable fields.
Issues with reading of Notes field help by the JAWS screen reader
There was an issue in JAWS 11 that prevented the screen reader from properly returning field help when the user typed Ctrl + Shift +H. A fix to support the reading of the Lotus Notes field help was added to JAWS 11.0.1461.
In the JAWS Keyboard Manager, there are definitions specific to Lotus Notes. These are found in the lotus notes.jkm by selecting Utilities, Keyboard Manager, lotus notes from the JAWS UI.
In JAWS 12, the definition for keystroke mapping to SayFieldHelp is currently set to None. When a JAWS screen reader user types Ctrl + Shift + H in JAWS 12, JAWS will read "Ctrl + Shift + H" instead of returning the Help text defined for the field.
Work around for JAWS Screen Reader
To enable JAWS to read the Help text for an editable field that has focus when the user types Ctrl + Shift + H, follow the defined work around for the appropriate version of JAWS you are using.
Updgrade to JAWS 11.0.1461 or later. See JAWS 11 Update
from Freedom Scientific.
In JAWS 12, the Lotus Notes keystroke mapping for SayFieldHelp must be updated to map to Ctrl + Shift + H.
To set the keystroke mapping for SayFieldHelp:
- Launch JAWS 12.
- Type JAWS Key + J, (Insert + J for Desktop Keyboard Layout) to move focus to the JAWS UI.
- Type Alt + U + K to open the Utilities, Keyboard Manager.
- Arrow down to lotus notes in the left navigation page. Note: if focus is not currently in the navigation pane, type Shift + Tab to move focus to this pane.
- With lotus notes selected, Tab to move focus to the Lotus Notes keystroke mapping.
- Arrow down to SayFieldHelp.
- Type Alt + A + A to open the Add Keystroke dialog.
- With the Add Keystroke dialog open, type Ctrl + Shift + H. This key combination will be entered into the Assign To: field.
- Tab forward to the Assign Key to DESKTOP Keys only. Press space bar to deselect this check box.
- Tab forward to the OK button. Press space bar to select OK and close the dialog.
- You will be prompted with a dialog asking, "Are you sure you want to modify lotus notes.JKM?"
- Press space bar to select Yes to accept the change and close the Confirm Add Keystroke dialog.
- Type Alt + F + X to exit the Keyboard Manager.
To verify that Ctrl + Shift + H is now mapped to Say Field Help in Lotus Notes:
- Launch JAWS.
- Launch Notes.
- Create a new Calendar Entry.
- Tab to the Start Date field.
- Type Ctrl + Shift + H.
- JAWS should now read "Enter start date".
The author, Maureen Kraft is Test Consultant Lead for the Human Ability and Accessibility Center.