How to prevent JAWS from saying "invalid entry" on required fields?

Issue

When using HTML5 attributes to mark up a form with required fields, JAWS 14 in Firefox (and possible others) announces empty fields as “invalid entry” the first time the user focuses on them (i.e. the first time the user encounters the field).

<input type="text" required value="">

Using aria-required="true" avoids the nasty message (and JAWS still informs the user that the field is required), however you lose the HTML5 form validation features (preventing form submission, browser-generated tooltips to guide the user, etc).

  1. How can you get around the “invalid entry” announcement?
  2. Why does JAWS do this?
    I would understand describing a field as “invalid” if the user skips over it (leaving it blank, and therefore invalid) and then focuses on it again. The current implementation is confusing as the user is being told they’ve entered something wrong into a field they didn’t even know existed.

I’ve read about hacks that set aria-invalid with JavaScript to fool JAWS, but I would really like to avoid watching for user interaction (focus event, etc) on every single field on a page with many inputs. Currently I use <label>Label text <span style="display:none;">required field</span></label> but that is a very hacky, non-semantic solution (not to mention I lose the benefits of HTML5 required).

Solution

FYI…this was a known issue in JAWS 13/14, and other screen readers, as mentioned on this article: Accessible Forms 2: Required Fields and Extra Information.

When using JAWS 13/14, NVDA 2012.3 and WindowsEyes 8.1 with Firefox 20
(and maybe some other browsers) the HTML5 ‘invalid entry’ message is
presented for each required form field when arrowing through the form
in browse mode or tabbing from input to input in forms mode. Since
this warning appears before an entry has been made it could be
potentially confusing for some users.

Now, you can use both required and aria-required together, along with a placeholder.

<label for="theInput">Label Text (required):</label>
<input type="text" name="theInput" id="theInput" required="required" aria-required="true" placeholder="the Input" value="" /> 

Answered By – cfnerd

Answer Checked By – Pedro (AngularFixing Volunteer)

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