In the past few days, there has been great uproar among blind users of Facebook because all the links on the mobile site (which is the popular "accessible" site) seem to be functioning as "same-page links," meaning that when you click them they send you right back to the top of the main page. Screen reader manufacturers deny any responsibility for this problem. In this particular instance, they are correct. It is a browser problem. Fortunately, solving the browser problem (without upgrading to a new browser that still may have some issues with your screen reader) can make your screen reader and Facebook play nice again.
The following solution has a lot of steps but does not require going into the registry or any other administrative area of your computer. It is not screen reader-specific and should assist those of you using Internet Explorer who are experiencing the same-page links problem.
- 1. Press alt+t to go to tools.
- Select manage add-ons.
- Tab to find more toolbars and extentions link.
- Press space. The Internet Explorer add-ons gallery will open.
- In the search box, type user agent.
- Locate UAPick User-Agent Switcher--you can do this by looking for it in the headings if you navigate by headings. It will be a link at heading level. Press enter on this link.
- Below the add to Internet Explorer button is a link to the add-on homepage. Press enter on this--it goes to the most recent version. This is important, as this version includes a checkbox to reuse the UA string in new windows.
- Press enter on the link that says install UAPick. It will prompt you to save or run the file. I normally encourage people to save installers. In this case, choose run and follow the steps. When it finishes, restart Internet Explorer.
- Press alt+v to go to the view menu.
- In the toolbars submenu, make sure the command bar is checked. If so, press alt to leave the menu. If not, press enter to check it and leave the menu. (Pressing enter toggles the checked or unchecked state.)
- A "set uA string" option is now available in the tools menu. In this dialogue there is a combo box that provides several options. Among them is "IE mobile." This actually makes FB work. Select it and also check the box to use the UA string in new windows. This will allow you to open FB stories in new windows if you choose. Press ok--you will actually have to confirm the change by pressing ok twice.
- When you are done on FB, you should probably set UA string back to your IE version. Other pages may not work as intended on IE mobile.
- You will need to repeat the previous two options whenever you visit Facebook and then finish with it.
There is a similar add-on for Firefox. I have not installed it; but based on the results here, it should have a similar effect.