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RE: additional label question

From: Jim Thatcher <jim@jimthatcher.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2005 10:01:27 -0500
To: "'Isofarro'" <lists@isofarro.uklinux.net>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000b01c5385e$0b5c0b30$6501a8c0@jtcom2400>

Hi Mike,

> ... do you have an example of a table-structured form that you
> consider accessible?

I couldn't find any real life examples. Here is a sample taken from my
webcourse: http://jimthatcher.com/webcourse8.htm#Figure8.10. When that page
was written (2001 - an update is sorely needed) there was only one screen
reader that supported title. All support it now and have for the past three
versions.

> We are being advised - by the RNIB - not to have such tabular
> forms, but instead break down the form into two separate
> fieldsets

Sure that is advisable, but the use of title is good too. Not only should we
encourage clients to use features available in current assistive technology
(like headings navigation instead of skip links) but sometimes advocate
techniques that have not yet been fully adopted by the AT venders so as to
push them too. Titles on form controls is an example of that gong back four
years.
  
Jim
 
Accessibility Consulting: http://jimthatcher.com/
512-306-0931

-----Original Message-----
From: Isofarro [mailto:lists@isofarro.uklinux.net] 
Sent: Saturday, April 02, 2005 4:18 PM
To: jim@jimthatcher.com
Cc: 'Beheler Kim'; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: additional label question

Jim Thatcher wrote:
>> I have a data table that has input boxes in each cell.   Do
>> the label tags need to be associated with the appropriate
>> text in this situation .
> 
> First of all the answer to question is again the title 
> attribute.

We are being advised - by the RNIB - not to have such tabular
forms, but instead break down the form into two separate
fieldsets - one for the first persons details, one for the
second. They never suggested or mentioned using the title attribute.


> But the title attribute on an input is used in exactly those
> cases where the prompting information is available in other 
> ways to one who sees the page. So in this case, the column 
> headers are obvious when someone is looking at the table - 
> but not to a screen reader user as they tab into the form 
> control.

I guess using the title would also help people with
learning/cognitive disabilities as well as the screen magnifier
problem of matching up headings and their fields.

The important part, as you say, is using the title attribute as
a secondary means of identification/labelling.

> (IBM uses a hack: an invisible image with alt text enclosed 
> in the label element, probably because testing tools don't 
> recognize the value of the title attribute - YET. They will.)
> 

This was my proposed solution to the tabular form problem, but
the RNIB didn't like that because older versions of JAWS had
problems using an alt attribute as a label.


Jim, do you have an example of a table-structured form that you
consider accessible?


Thanks,
Mike
Received on Sunday, 3 April 2005 15:02:02 GMT

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