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RE: Re-post: Influence of valid code on screen readers

From: Bailey, Bruce <Bruce.Bailey@ed.gov>
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2005 09:00:52 -0400
Message-ID: <CCDBDCBFA650F74AA88830D4BACDBAB50B2D46E7@wdcrobe2m02.ed.gov>
To: "WAI-GL" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Cc: "Robinson, Norman" <Norman.B.Robinson@usps.gov>, "Joe Clark" <joeclark@joeclark.org>

> I have had examples where incorrect HTML coding has caused the screen
> reader to not gain access to the information presented in a web browser.

It's not clear to me that it is important at this time to compile antidotes affirming the assertion that valid code is important for accessibility.  Nevertheless, I will pipe in with a "me too".  At the U.S. Department of Education my work group routinely tests web sites for compliance with the Section 508 Accessibility Standards (close enough to WCAG1 Single A, if anyone is new to the distinction).  It is rare to encounter valid html, and such is not an explicit requirement.  However, it is not uncommon to discover, for example, that broken code interferes with the auditory rendering of multilevel tables.  This happened just last week with a complex table that closed a form (and started a new form) right after the heading rows.  Merely deleting </form><form name="foobar"> from the code fixed the problem.  This was not, unsurprisingly, the only syntax error on the page, but it was the only one we could pressure the author to fix.

Bruce Bailey, MEd, RET
ED OCIO Assistive Technology Team
202-377-4932 (voip)
202-401-8510 (tty)
202-401-8469 (fax)
Received on Tuesday, 14 June 2005 13:00:57 UTC

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