Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Facebook basic navigation with a screen reader

This super long (but awesome) post is made possible thanks to a great TVI, Patti Fahle. This was one of her school year goals. It is a basic navigation of Facebook using a screen reader. I've posted the directions in their entirety on this post in an effort to bypass having to download it from a post. She did a great job, thanks Patti!!

Facebook basic navigation with a screen reader

Facebook is navigable and it's main functions are completely accessible with a screen reader. You just need to know what to look for and how to interact with the Facebook layout.

Screen reader users do not need to use "mobiel" mode.
Within your Facebook page there is a lot of information which is irrelevent, so be prepared to skip over it and find the stuff you really want/need.
The following tips and tricks will have you interacting with Facebook in no time.

Reading posts and status updates

When you log into Facebook, you are, by default, on your Facebook "home" page.
The page is divided into many headings. You can move through the headings by pressing the letter H. The first heading we are concerned with is the heading level 2 titled, "News feed".
Just above the News Feed heading are 2 possible links.

These are

  1. "most recent" and
  2. "top news".

Think of these 2 links as a toggle.

Activate the "most recent" link to sort the updates, which will be listed further down the page.
This list will be sorted chronologically from most recent to oldest.
Just press the letter H to move from one post heading to the nexct.

Activate the "top news" link to view a random list showing posts by a selection of your friends FB updates.

All Facebook posts are listed beginning with a heading containing your friend's name, so move through these updates by pressing the letter H.

If there is a particular update or "news story", you are interested in, you can arrow down to find out more information, make comments on the information, indicate that you "like" the post, or view others comments listed about the post.

Older posts

After skipping through the headings/status updates, that is to say the Facebook posts from your friends, you will eventually loop back to the top of your page.

You can extend the list of these Facebook "news stories" by finding and activating the link titled "this page link older posts".
This will add more of your friend's stories to the bottom of the list you were just viewing. This means you will have to navigate back down to that spot in order to view them.

Tip: To quicly find the "older posts" link, you can use your links list or:

Perform a text search for the word "older".

  • Press Ctrl F.
  • A dialogue box will appear. Enter the word "older" and press Enter.
  • Focus will move to the word/link "older posts".
  • Pressing Enter will activate the "older posts" link thus adding older posts to the current list of your Facebook friend's postings.

Commenting on, and liking Facebook posts.

Your Facebook friend news feed posts might simply be what's on their mind, and these posts could also include links to videos, articles, other interesting Web pages etc.

If you come across one of your Facebook friend's posts, and you want to comment on it, arrow down to the edit "write a comment...edit".
Type your comment, Tab to the post comment button and press

Often times, however, there will not be a "write your comment" edit box. There will in this case simply be the word "comment". meaning it's not a link or an edit field. If this is the case:

· move to the word "comment" directly beneath the heading associated with that particular post.

· Arrow over to the letter O in comment, and press Enter.

· An edit box will open so press the letter E to move to the edit field, turn forms mode on and type your comment.

· To post your comment, press Tab to move focus to the "comment button", and press spacebar.

To view comments

Beneath your friend's posts others might have made comments.
By default, Facebook will show 2 of these comments. You can arrow down to have your screen reader read these.

If, however, there are more than 2 comments, you can press spacebar on the "view all comments" button.
The page will refresh and all comments will then be displayed.

Changing your Facebook status

To change your Facebook status

  • From your Facebook hoem page, press the letter E, to move to the edit field labelled, "what's on your mind?".
  • Type whatever you like. Remember that your name is preceeded by the text you type.
  • Tab to the "share button" and press spacebar

Note: You can paste a link URL as part of your status update and it will become an active link.

How to find your Facebook friends, send messages & Wall posts.

This tutorial will help you find a list of your Facebook friends, how to send them messages and wall posts.

To find your Facebook friends, just follow these steps:

  1. From your Facebook home page, activate the "profile" link.
  2. Beneath the heading titled "Friends", there is a link titled, "Show all". Activate this link.
  3. A new page will open with links to your friends listed alphabetically (first name, last name).
    If you have more than 35 friends, your list will be divided onto another Web page.

to find the next group of your friends, follow these steps:

  • It is important that, for some reason, you use the "links list" for this.
    So, JAWS users press
    Insert F7, and Window Eyes users press Shift Tab.
  • There are 3 links directly above the very first name in your list of friends.

    These are titled differently for everyone so we'll refer to them as, first, second and third.
    The second link will generate a new page with the next group of your friends.
  • the first of these 3 links will go back to the previous group of your friends.

Sending messages to your Facebook friends.

Once you have clicked on a friend's name, their Facebook page will open. You can either send them a message, or write on their wall.

to send them a message:

  • Activate the link titled, "send (your friend's name) a message".
  • A new page will open. Press the letter E until you arrive at the edit field titled, "subject".
  • You can enter a subject title, and/or then TAB to the next edit field which will be where you will enter your message to your friend.
  • Now TAB to the link titled, "send" and press Enter.

to write on your friend's Facebook wall.

Once you have opened a friend's Facebook page, move focus to the very top of the page.

  • Press the letter E twice, to move focus to the 2nd edit field. This edit field will be labelled, "write something".
  • turn forms mode on and type a short wall post.
  • Press Tab to move focus to the "share" button, and then press spacebar.

the button is labelled, "share" because wall posts are "shared", meaning that everyone can see them.

Where's my Facebook Wall?

To access your Facebook Wall:

  • From your Facebook home page, activate the link titled "profile".
  • Your Facebook profile page will open.
    Activate the link titled "Wall".
  • The page will refresh with your Wall postings listed below.

Facebook Wall posts are listed with headings, so like your home page, you can move through Wall posts with the letter H.

To view older Wall posts, activate the link titled, "older posts".

To return to your Facebook Home page, activate the link titled "Home>

How to change your Facebook profile picture

Now that you're on Facebook, you might want others to see what you look like, or instead, show an image that represents you.
What's the point?
When others see your name in their list of friends, there is also a thumbnail view of your "profile picture".
If you haven't uploaded one, there will simply be a question mark instead of a photo.

To continue, you will need a picture of yourself stored somewhere on your computer. This file should be either a .jpg or .gif file. If you're not sure how to do this, simply have a friend or relative take a digital photo of you, and have them email it to you or give it to you on a memory stick. Make sure it is named something so that you will easily identify it, for example, my pic for facebook.jpg.

Here's how to change your Facebook profile picture:

  1. After you have logged onto your Facebook page, activate the link titled Profile.
  2. Next, activate the link titled Photos.
  3. Activate the link titled Profile pictures.
  4. Now activate the link titled Change Profile picture.
  5. After the page refreshes, you will move to, and activate the link titled, profile picture.
  6. Here you can either choose from existing profile pictures, if you have already uploaded some, or, move to and activate the browse button.
  7. Here you will be presented with a typical route directory of your computer. Tab to the location and file name for the picture you want to use as your Facebook profile picture.
  8. Once you choose the picture you want to use, Tab to the Open button and press ENTER.
  9. Check the bbox with your Spacebar to indicate that you have the right to use the image, and then Tab to the Upload Picture button, press spacebar, to activate the button, and it's done.

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