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Re: Short and long descriptions for links

From: david poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2004 09:16:13 -0500
Message-ID: <004601c4e767$a7f278f0$6401a8c0@DAVIDPC>
To: "Patrick Lauke" <P.H.Lauke@salford.ac.uk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

It strikes me that there are a couple of things at work here.  One of the 
tests we use to determine how accessible a page is from a textual stand 
point is to turn off images.  You have to ask your self then, does the page 
say what I want it to or what it should say without images loaded?  The 
answer may surprise you.  The second thing that comes to mind in this 
discussion is that in fact, it is possible to put all the text you need 
right into a page with judicious use of navigational aids.

Johnnie Apple Seed

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Patrick Lauke" <P.H.Lauke@salford.ac.uk>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 2004 4:34 AM
Subject: RE: Short and long descriptions for links

> From: Tipton, William
> I would like to have longer descriptions so where appropriate
> users who
> use screen readers can pick up this longer description. The shorter
> descriptions would be used for the users who do not use
> screen readers.
> I am hoping that the screen readers would only pick the longer
> description when both the short and long are used.

One thing that struck me while reading this is that a longer, more
explicit description may benefit all users, not just those navigating
the page with a screenreader. Think, for instance, about users with
cognitive/learning disabilities. As Matthew already mentioned, title
would probably be the most appropriate. Two points worth mentioning, though:
a) in some cases, screenreader verbosity settings may determine whether
or not an element's title is announced - so you can't guarantee that users
will hear it in all circumstances;
b) (in relation to my "it's useful to everybody, not just screenreader
users" bit above) as far as I'm aware, there is no mechanism for users
employing keyboard navigation to present the title of the element which
currently has focus (i.e. the link they may have just tabbed to), so again
you cannot guarantee that all users will benefit from it.
Not saying it's not appropriate to use title, just thought it would be
good to mention these points for completeness' sake.

Patrick H. Lauke
Webmaster / University of Salford
Received on Tuesday, 21 December 2004 14:16:59 UTC

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