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Re: [techs] test case reviews

From: Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 20:30:23 +0100
Message-ID: <e2a28a920507271230652d2689@mail.gmail.com>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

I'm confused as to whether labels for form controls are a requirement.
Guideline 4.2 Level 1 success criteria point 4 states [1]:

4. The label of each user interface control that accepts input from
the user can be programmatically determined and is explicitly
associated with the control.

It doesn't state that the label element must be used, and I assumed
that the label could be associated either with the label element, or
the title attribute directly on the form control.

In the techniques document, 15.1 states: "Label form controls with the
title attribute" [2]. That explicitly states that all form controls
must have an explicit label. This is also a contradiction of 15.3:
"Use title to label form controls that can't be individually labeled"

Is the label element a requirement for all form controls that accept user input?

Just to clarify my position on this, I don't think it should be a
requirement, but I think there should be a requirement for explicit
labels with radio buttons and checkboxes as this improves
accessibility for people with mobility impairments.

This brings me onto Rob Haverty's point, which I think is important.

On 27/07/05, Rob Haverty <robhav@exchange.microsoft.com> wrote:
> It seems to me that the general test case below 
> "labels should be positioned closeto the control" 
> should be retained.

If the label isn't close to the form control, it won't help increase
the target area for the associated control, as it may not be obvious.
Also, the positioning of form elements is important for people with
cognitive difficulties. If the associated label is badly positioned,
it could cause significant problems for some groups. Previous
guidelines have maintained that labels are positioned to the left, or
immediately above the control. That's generally true, but for
checkboxes and radio buttons, user interface design principles dictate
that the label should be positioned to the right of the control.

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#technology-supports-access
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-HTML-TECHS/#label
[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-HTML-TECHS/#label-title

Best regards,


Supplement your vitamins
Received on Wednesday, 27 July 2005 19:30:34 UTC

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