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Instructions and cues in online forms: HTML+CSS solution

From: Sailesh Panchang <spanchang02@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2004 11:14:08 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <20040720181408.89593.qmail@web41509.mail.yahoo.com>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
One issue addressed in para (n) of Sec 508 re. online forms, requires access to instructions and cues in forms. WCAG does not seem to address this. The problem is that lines of instructions  between form controls do not get focus when one tabs from a control to the next in forms data-entry mode. (Instructions before the first form control or after the last one do not pose a problem). It is inefficient to  exit forms mode  after every form control to check for instructions or read all instructions beforehand and recall them while filling it out.
HTML and CSS offer a solution:
Make every separate instruction line an anchor with a null href (href="#") and use style sheet properties to  make the link look like ordinary text without underlining. If lines of instructions are  colored so that they stand out, this too can be done through styling. Consider giving a title to the link: "Form instructions".   A screen reader user can then tab to such instructions placed between form controls.
Sailesh Panchang

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Received on Tuesday, 20 July 2004 14:14:39 UTC

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