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Re: Question on WAI Accessibility Guidelines

From: Liam Quinn <liam@htmlhelp.com>
Date: Wed, 03 Jun 1998 20:54:38 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Leslie Brogger <leslie.brogger@born.com>, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
At 05:57 PM 03/06/98 -0500, Leslie Brogger wrote:
>I have a question regarding the subheading #11 under the topic Style and
>Structure:  "Do not misuse presentation elements for purposes of
>structure."  I am not clear on what this recommendation means.  Can you
>give me an example where this recommendation applies?

<CENTER><FONT SIZE=7 COLOR=red><B><I>Heading</I></B></FONT></CENTER>

misuses four presentation elements for the purpose of structure.  By using
presentation elements exclusively, the example fails to communicate the
importance of "Heading" to non-visual browsers while impeding navigation
since one cannot generate a summary of headings in the document.
Structurally, the preceding example could be marked up as follows:


along with a style sheet to give the presentation suggestions:

H1 {
  text-align: center;
  font-size: x-large;
  color: red;
  background: transparent;
  font-weight: bold;
  font-style: italic

>I am working to
>bring my web site up to the current standards, and would like to know if
>I should make this change to all <HR> tags in the site, or only on
>certain ones.

There's a lot of debate on whether the HR element is presentational or
structural.  I view it as a presentation element that should not be
depended upon to communicate structural information.  Use of DIV or an
appropriate heading element (H1, H2, ...) can communicate the structural
intention (section divider) that authors often have when using HR.

Liam Quinn
Received on Wednesday, 3 June 1998 20:54:33 UTC

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