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Re: @title's relation to accessibility

From: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
Date: Mon, 03 Sep 2007 16:37:51 +0100
Message-ID: <46DC2A4F.8090401@cfit.ie>
To: Steve Faulkner <sfaulkner@paciellogroup.com>
Cc: Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>, public-html@w3.org, wai-xtech@w3.org

Sander Tekelenburg wrote:
> I'm just trying to
> establish to what extent authors should be using @title specifically with
> "accessibility" in mind, and to what extent that should be specified
by HTML.)

Well currently it is used for 'additional' information as per the WCAG
guidelines [1] but often this implementation is pretty useless as
Assistive Technology often practically ignores it and authors don't know
how to use @title properly. Getting them to use explicit and intuitive
link text is often a way around this problem. Whether this is the fault
of the spec (am *not* looking for fight, I don't think it is) or its
support/implementation or handling by the vendors is moot. It could be
really useful. For example to tell a user about the purpose of a link or
to add supplementary information that adds to what they can glean from
the link text is straight forward etc but with the img element,  even
when the user explicitly chooses to have the contents of the title
attribute read out. it can still be ignored. With ALT/TITLE on the img
element it is an either or situation. I don't think this is ideal.

Screen readers like JAWS often give the user a choice to output the
content of one attribute over another. I think this could be improved if
use cases were examined. many users never get under the hood of their
assistive technology and modify how their reader handles HTML and how it
is 'virtualised', and that is understandable. Why should an ordinary
user have to know how HTML works in order to use their assistive
technology correctly? This is practically the case with attributes like
@title. I don't want to have to fiddle about with my car just to drive
it even though improvements can be made in performance by doing so, if
you know what you are doing.

Is the title attribute seen as an accessibility attribute and if so will
it be a part of HTML 5 as an accessibility attribute?

Josh

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-HTML-TECHS/#link-text
Received on Monday, 3 September 2007 15:38:14 GMT

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