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Re: Technique H49: screen reader support for sub and sup

From: Christophe Strobbe <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 12:34:13 +0200
Message-Id: <>
To: wcag <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

At 12:36 13/09/2007, Christophe Strobbe wrote:
>Technique H49 (Using semantic markup to mark emphasized or special 
>text) [1], which is currently not associated with a success 
>criterion, contains an example with sub and sup elements. Sub and 
>sup are also in the test procedures.
>However, I just read in a report on accessibility of mathematics and 
>science that screen readers can't tell the difference between sub 
>and sup, so s<sup>n</sup> and s<sub>n</sub> are both rendered the 
>same on a Braille display, namely as "an".
>I think we should do some tests for screen reader support (both 
>Braille and speech), and possibly adapt the user agent and assistive 
>technology support notes.

As a follow up on my previous message, the test page at 
<http://tinyurl.com/2qll7h> now contains test results for Internet 
Explorer 7 with Jaws 7.10, Jaws 8 and Window-Eyes 5.5, Opera 9.5 
alpha with VoiceOver, Safari 2.04 with VoiceOver, Firefox 3 beta with 
Orca, and Fire Vox. The results were provided by several members of 
the WAI IG and WCAG WG mailing lists. Results for IBM Home Page 
Reader, HAL and a slew of other technologies are still missing. None 
of the tested technoloiges appear to voice sub and sup differently.

Note that the sub and sup elements were listed in the HTML 3.2 
specification as "font style elements":
In HTML 4.01, they are in the section on "Structured text":

Best regards,


and <http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-TECHS/#H49>

Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 bus 2442
B-3001 Leuven-Heverlee
tel: +32 16 32 85 51

Disclaimer: http://www.kuleuven.be/cwis/email_disclaimer.htm
Received on Thursday, 20 September 2007 10:35:13 UTC

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