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Techniques for WCAG 2.0: T3: Using standard text formatting conventions for headings (TXT)

From: Pant, Devarshi Lockheed Martin <Devarshi.Pant@ssa.gov>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2010 11:50:22 -0500
To: "'public-comments-wcag20@w3.org'" <public-comments-wcag20@w3.org>
Message-ID: <443E362C82E24747AF333EACE9FC3E4713E356E29A@HQ-MB-06.ba.ad.ssa.gov>
Name: Devarshi Pant
Email: devarshipant@gmail.com<mailto:devarshipant@gmail.com>
Affiliation: Consultant
Document: Techniques for WCAG 2.0<http://www.w3.org/TR/2010/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20101014/>
Item Number: Techniques T3: Using standard text formatting conventions for headings<http://www.w3.org/TR/2010/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20101014/T3> (TXT) (http://www.w3.org/TR/2010/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20101014/T3)
Part of Item: Description
Comment Type: Format Convention
Summary of Issue: Formatting Convention
Comment (Including rationale for any proposed change):
To decipher a heading, a screen reader user will have to remember the rule: "two blank lines preceding the heading" and "a blank line following a heading". This rule can easily get complex when other formatting options are introduced in the document structure to convey the structural meaning to different user groups. What happens when a hyperlink, underlined text, or a caption is to be expressed using plain text? The list goes on when we factor in other ways documents are currently presented. It only makes sense to have its plain text counterpart elicit same structural meaning using more intuitive encodings than line breaks and non printing characters.

Proposed Change:
Use mnemonics instead. Remove references to non printed characters and line breaks. There are richer ways to convey this information to all user groups.
For example, to express a heading in a plain text document, using (H)This is a Heading(H) will be easier to follow than the blank line format. Note that the enclosed character is a mnemonic for heading.
Using the same rule, a underline can represented as (U)This is an underline(U).
A hyperlink will be (HY)This is a hyperlink(HY).
This way even users groups will be able to understand a plain text document by visually parsing it.
Received on Monday, 29 November 2010 17:53:28 UTC

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