Focus order best practice

Sep 21, 2021

As with many of you, we've been working very hard to ensure that our courses are accessible to all learners. I'm wondering if anyone has some best practice/advice on focus order:

  • How does focus order work with objects that have a change in state depending on an on-screen interaction? For example, the initial state may be hidden but once you click on another button, it is active and has text. Or a variable that adjusts based on user input. 
  • Do you place layers before or after the base layer when customizing focus order?
  • When the content on a layer is dependent on also reading the content on a base layer, how do you set up the focus order?

I've spent hours and hours researching this and playing around with it and just can't seem to get it right. I would appreciate any guidance you have!!!


2 Replies
Megan McPeak

Hi Sarah, I'm trying to figure all of this out, too. I think you do place the layers after the base layer when customizing the focus order. However, when I do that and test it out with the NVDA screen reader, it only reads the base layers, and not the layers themselves. I can't figure out how to get the screen reader to read the layers. It only says: blank. It also says to open the context menu to get missing descriptions. Not sure what that means, and there's not much info about that online.