Back Command in Safari Sometimes Results in Useless Page to VoiceOver

Category
Safari
Severity
Moderate

Description

Occasionally, when you go back a page in Safari, the page you land on is unusable. This can take two forms:

  • VoiceOver can navigate headings,if there are any, but they appear to be the headings of the page you just left, and the only thing you hear aside from headings is "text". For example, you might hear "heading level 3, text" and then "heading level 1, text". VO-arrows only land you on items that are spoken as "text".
  • The page appears either blank or as described above, but VoiceOver's web navigation commands (vo-cmd-h, for example) don't work at all. In this case, the page appears not in an HTML Area like normal, but instead in a Scroll Area.

In either case, to fix this and get the page to be usable again, you must refresh the page.

Bug First Encountered

OS X 10.10 or earlier

How often the bug occurs

Sometimes

Workaround

Reload the page, and things return to normal.

Status

Fixed

Fixed In

OS X 10.10.3

Options

Comments

Submitted by Mike Freeman on Friday, February 20, 2015

As I've said before, one reason I believe this bug isn't getting more urgent play at Apple is that quite a few sighted folks don't even *use* the Back button; they expect web pages to allow them to keep clicking forward with links at the top or in a frame to allow them to go back without having to hit a back button.

Sometimes I think that some therapists have it wrong: it's not the blind who lack "object permanence" but, rather, the sighted. :-) :-)

Submitted by LaBoheme on Friday, February 20, 2015

"As I've said before, one reason I believe this bug isn't getting more urgent play at Apple is that quite a few sighted folks don't even *use* the Back button; they expect web pages to allow them to keep clicking forward with links at the top or in a frame to allow them to go back without having to hit a back button."

and i wonder why you keep saying that, because it is not true. one can only go back via a link if the page is designed that way, sighted and blind users alike can utilize the link, and many sighted users would still just use the back button. that's why in some situations like placing an order, the website in question will warn users not to use the back button.
but most importantly, this is a vo specific issue. when you go back a page, and even if vo isn't reading the page well, the page looks perfectly fine on the screen.

Submitted by Bryan Jones on Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Apple released Safari 7.1.5 for Mavericks and 8.0.5 for Yosemite today. On my systems, these updates seem to have resolved the issue listed in this bug report.

Systems tested:
Mid-2013 Macbook Air 11.
OS X 10.9.5.
OS X 10.10.3.

Submitted by Tyler on Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

I also don't seem to have this issue anymore.

Submitted by Darren12 on Thursday, April 9, 2015

Great that this has been resolved on the mac as well, it would have been slightly Incongruous if not, given that Apple have done a fantastic job with Safari in 8.3.