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Re: Speech browser compatibility with HTML

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2003 10:15:55 -0500
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: ibm-hpr@ibm.talklist.net
Message-ID: <OF7DD1F92E.A85039D7-ON86256D8D.00507F51-86256D8D.0053F0E6@us.ibm.com>

Isofarro wrote:
> I had my first experience with a speech browser today - IBM's Homepage
> Reader. We stumbled into a problem with tables. The page
> <http://www.isolani.co.uk/articles/table/group9step6.html> is to my
> understanding an accessible table. It uses the scope attribute to define
> relationship between table headers and data.
> I was expecting the table to be read (from the first td):
> "Wales Games played 4, Wales Games won 4,..."
> But it just read the table out one cell at a time in a linearized
fashion. I
> take it HPR doesn't make use of the scope attribute.

HPR does support the scope attribute and will read the table as it should,
but you have to switch to "Table Reading Mode" by pressing Alt+T.  Alt+J
will switch to "Jump Reading Mode", and by pressing the right and left
arrows, HPR will "jump" from table to table.  When you get to a table you
want to read more, then press Alt+T and use the up/down arrow keys and the
left/right arrow keys to move up and down the columns and across the rows.
You'll notice that the column or row heading is only announced when the
heading changes. For example, the way this simple table is coded, HPR will
read each column heading (P W D L GF etc.) when you move across a row, and
will read each row heading (Wales, Italy, Serbia, etc.) as you move up and
down a column along with the contents of the cell.  The heading can be
announced before of after the cell contents depending on the user's
miscellaneous settings.

Please refer to the "Testing with Home Page Reader" and provide any
feedback to the Home Page Reader list at ibm-hpr@ibm.talklist.net

But no screen reader will be able to assume that P is an abbreviation for
"games played" or that W is an abbreviations for "won" without the
additional markup.  I noticed that you did provide a title="Games Played"
attribute for the "P" column heading.  A sighted user would have to place
the mouse pointer over the P to get the tool tip "Games played" to appear
(or read the source).  Access to the additional information in the title
attribute is also available in HPR by pressing the Ctrl+Shift+F1 key
combination.  Whether the use of the title attribute is better or worse
than the ABBR element remains to be investigated.  But it doesn't make
sense to me to have the sighted user see the headings: P W D L GF etc. and
then expect the screen reader to automatically read something different.
In other words, why should it read the title attribute over the actual text
of the heading?  That would be like turning all tool tips on all the time
for a sighted user.  Who would want that?

> It got me thinking, is there a resource available on the web - similar to
> the CSS browser compatibility grid (e.g.

> ml ) - that details which accessibility aids each screen reader supports?
> this info available in a form other than rolling up sleeves and running
> screen reader?

I don't know of any side-by-side comparisons like the CSS example, but
there is an excellent comparison of HPR's support of the W3C's User Agent
Accessibility Guidelines at the "Summary Implementation Report for UAAG
1.0" (see http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/impl-pr2/)

Phill Jenkins,  IBM Accessibility Services
Received on Monday, 25 August 2003 15:30:03 UTC

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