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Re: Fw: putting reader text in hidden <div> tags / adding pauses

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2001 21:42:42 -0500 (EST)
To: Rowan Smith <rowan@absolutely.co.nz>
cc: WAI IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0112012109360.5870-100000@tux.w3.org>
I much prefer the small image as a link to hidden text. As someone who
frequently has to use the keyboard for navigation, I also appreciate the skip
links function. Using the display:none style property denies this possibility
to many people, since it relies on a bug rather than working within the

It is unfortunate that there is not better browser support for navigating the
document in Jaws with IE - in many other browsers it is relatively simple to
navigate via the headings on a page, which give a real idea of the structure.

For people who do use such browsers (including the plugin available for IE -
it is apparently widely used in Spanish but I don't know of people using it
in english, although I am sure some do) the most helpful thing to do is to
ensure that pages have appropriate heading levels.

A case in point is http://www.theage.com.au (my favourite newspaper - for the
sake of good content I can live with difficult access although I would rather
not) which uses font markup to provide structure visually, which is no use
for actually navigating. With more than 100 links on the main page, and about
60 coming before any text, it would be helpfulto have this structure.

A contrast is the WAI Authoring Tools page, which has a number of links (and
the "latest group news") before the standard content. But it is possible to
bookmark points within the page as the anchors provided will not be changed
(old anchors are maintained even if the content they pointed to moves), and
the markup is structured so that it is possible to get a "table of contents"
view and use it to navigate. However it does not use an explicit "skip
navigation link - instead the third link on the page (after the two to more
general areas of the W3C site) goes direct to the main content of the page.
(feedback on these techniques or the page in general is welcome - please send
it to the working group at w3c-wai-au@w3.org so it is archived for future

just my personal thoughts



On Sun, 2 Dec 2001, Rowan Smith wrote:

  Hi there

  We agonised over this for a government body as well ... in the end we went
  for skip links in alt tags on invisible images, for the following reasons.

  1. Some www search engines appear to de-list or penalise sites that use
  invisible text the same colour as the background (possible spamming) and we
  wanted to avoid that risk.
  2. Didn't want to rely on <style="display:none"> because of browser support,
  and we wanted to maintain design integrity as well as accessibility.

  Learning on the job here, and I don't know if it's perfect but seems to work
  fine. Interesting thread ... I'd be interested to hear other people's

  absolutely.co.nz limited    http://www.absolutely.co.nz
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W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
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Received on Saturday, 1 December 2001 21:42:50 UTC

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