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

From: Rand, Robert <RandR@SEC.GOV>
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2001 16:49:11 -0500
Message-ID: <8ACA31391023B641B9253BFAB7B783AD4A1019@hq-sec-ex1.SEC.GOV>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
As a newcomer to accessibility issues in web development, the awkward
workaround practice of using invisible graphics for screen reader links and
their alt tags for explanatory notes seems to highlight the need for a style
dedicated to aural presentation only. I would argue that the aural
experience of gathering information from a web page is so different from the
visual experience that it warrants special consideration. While there seem
to be aural styles in CSS2, none seems to fit the need that invisible text
would. Isn't there a need for aural comments not met by CSS2?

A case in point is our home page. Seeing it for the first time, I would be
able to visually identify within a couple of seconds the 9 key subject
headings that correspond to links to our main second-level index pages. In
contrast, the aural effect seems to be a jumble of unorganized links. An
older staff member here using JAWS lamented that in the days of line
browsers, branching menus allowed her much quicker access to the information
she wanted. The skip links approach was not initially helpful for her as she
didn't understand the overall structure, hence had a hard time understanding
what was skipped. Maybe I didn't do that as effectively as I could have. I'm
considering recreating that first-level branching menu for screen-readers
only as a subsection of our home page. 

Is this too much retrofitting? Any references to websites that get it right
would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Bob Rand, web developer
rrand@sec.gov
www.sec.gov
Received on Monday, 3 December 2001 16:50:22 GMT

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