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RE: visibility of 'skip links'

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 12:17:48 -0500
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFA35B913D.BFF65AC2-ON86256BBF.005D16AB@pok.ibm.com>

There is also the option of putting some styling on the small clear image
gif (on Focus) that would have a tool tip (title attribute) that would show
up when tabbed to or when the mouse hovered over it.  The sighted keyboard
user would see the tool tip when tabbing to links, the blind user would
hear the link, and the mouse user would see the tooltip when mousing
around.  The visual design debate still exists about how to identify that
there is a link there.  I hadn't heard of the visible arrow idea before.  I
have seen the use of plain old text (styled small) instead of an image
link, but that was not well received by the visual design community.  So,
if the sighted keyboard user can live with using the tab key to find all
the links, even those associated with very small image links, then most
everyone is satisfied.

There are problems with the screen reader and voicing browser support of
visibility: hidden and display:none.  This is a fundamental problem with
the concept of screen readers since they come from a notion that if it
isn't displayed, it isn't spoken.  Some web developers don't know which
property to use when (the spec alludes to a difference), and even if the
screen reader and voicing browsers did agree and support them consistently,
there is no guarantee that the properties would be used correctly.  Screen
Reader developers have a history of hacking around to get to their users
some equivalent of what the sighted users gets.  When developers hide
content with display:none, it also needs to be hidden from the screen
reader users.  However the visibility:hidden property, if used correctly,
could be a solution when the voicing browser, screen readers, and the multi
modal browsers support it correctly.  So for today I would recommend the
very small image link solution.

Received on Monday, 20 May 2002 14:16:56 UTC

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