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Re: Screen readers and <<, <, >, >> characters

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 10:31:46 -0400 (EDT)
To: Martha Wilkes <Martha.Wilkes@sas.com>
cc: "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0106211027350.9750-100000@tux.w3.org>
unfortunately, greater than characters in particular are often used to
indicate that something is quoted in email. A very typical scenario is to
turn off the speaking of pronunciation (since it interrupts the flow of

title is an attribute not an element in HTML (to be pedantic) and many but
not all assistive technologies or even good browsers will give access to
that, particularly if the attribute is on the a element (the link) rather
than on the text itself.

As a person who does not use a screen reader, I do not find these very
recognisable in many contexts - I am used to them in some applications as

Hope that is helpful.

Charles McCathieNevile

On Thu, 21 Jun 2001, Martha Wilkes wrote:

  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

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
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Received on Thursday, 21 June 2001 10:31:47 UTC

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