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Screen readers and <<, <, >, >> characters

From: Martha Wilkes <Martha.Wilkes@sas.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 10:09:11 -0400
Message-ID: <0632CC5F67853B4D96D542BAE8AD008201AC4FCB@merc08.na.sas.com>
To: "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Apologies if this has been covered, but I couldn't find it in the archives.

Some of our web applications use the following characters as navigation links for large tables (or as button labels, depending on the application). I'm sure you're all familiar with them:

"<<" means go back to the first page
"<" means go back to the previous page
">" means go to the next page
">>" means go to the last page

The screen readers we have tested with (IBM Home Page, JAWS) read these characters as "greater than" and "less than" (as they should, since this is what these characters really mean). Now this might not be a big deal if vision-impaired users are already accustomed to hearing "greater than" and knowing that it means "go to the previous page". Does anyone know if this is the case?

We put more descriptive information in the <title> tag, but the screen readers don't seem to read that info at all. 

TIA for any insight you can provide.

martha.wilkes@sas.com | 919.531.1416
Received on Thursday, 21 June 2001 10:09:46 UTC

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