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Re: Is this tag accessible?

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 22:54:44 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200107112154.f6BLsiP31496@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Please excuse the novice level of this question.  Is the <hr> tag =
> accessible?  Or how can one make it so?

It's difficult to answer without more context.  The main problem with
BR elements is that they are misused, somewhat in the way that your
email program has been abusing DIV in the pseudo-HTML version of the
mail (please disable this).

BR means ensure that the following text starts at the beginning of
a line in a visual presentation.  It doesn't mean start a new
paragraph, but without a blank line.  It doesn't mean move the
writing point down one line (even though most browsers do this);
vertical motion is only necessary if there is output on the current

Even someone with normal senses and a GUI browser, could have line lengths
set such that it is not possible to distinguish between the effect of
BR and an automatic line break, so you cannot rely on BR providing much
semantic information to the user.  Simple screen readers and a text mode
browser are unlikely to detect short lines.  I suppose a reader with
access to the document object model could announce BRs, but the result
would be noisy for the many pages that abuse them, either as an attempt at
author controlled wrapping (making unreasonable assumptions about font
sizes or line lengths) or gap-less paragraphing (again vulnerable to
misreading if line lengths cause the last line to be more or less full).

I'd say that, used properly, as between the lines in your address in the
(pseudo-) HTML version of your email, there should be no problem, but
their abuse will always cause some problems and not only for the disabled.

> <DIV><FONT face=3DArial></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
> <DIV><FONT face=3DArial>Thanks in advance!</FONT></DIV>

> <DIV><FONT face=3DArial>UCP National<BR>1660 L Street, NW, Suite=20
> 700<BR>Washington, DC&nbsp; 20036<BR>Ph: 800-872-5827<BR>Fax:=20
> 202-776-0414<BR>Web site:&nbsp; <A=20
Received on Wednesday, 11 July 2001 17:56:52 UTC

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