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RE: additional label question

From: Steven Faulkner <steven.faulkner@nils.org.au>
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2005 10:06:11 +1000
To: "W3c Wai Ig" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OHEEKDBODCBIIKIGGIMDIEHLFPAA.steven.faulkner@nils.org.au>

Gez wrote:
>We could do with more data, to find the exact circumstances as to when
>display: none is applied. I assume in the report that because form
>elements are so important, labels are honoured regardless of whether
>they've been hidden with display: none. It would be good to know for
>sure, as there is a lot of misinformation about when it is applied.


In regards to JAWS the freedom scientific documentation makes for
interesting reading (FAQ's 'Tips on HTML code and expected behaviour from
JAWS'  
http://www.freedomscientific.com/fs_support/BulletinView.cfm?QC=565)

"Q. Does JAWS support cascading style sheets (CSS)?
A. Yes, JAWS does support cascading style sheets (CSS). CSS is a way of
marking up text using styles that are inherited by applying a set of style
rules to a page without having to change the actual page content. For
example, you can link an HTML document to a style sheet which says that all
H1 headings should be displayed in red. There are some issues that authors
of Web pages should be aware of when using CSS to ensure the page is
accessible. 
When a page loads and JAWS parses the HTML, it also parses the linked and
inline style information to determine which elements should be rendered. Any
elements that use a style with "display:none" or "visibility:hidden" are not
included in the JAWS rendering. However, if the page has elements shown when
the page first loads, but then dynamically hides these elements without user
intervention after the page loads, JAWS will not detect that this has
occurred and may still show the hidden content. Conversely, if a page hides
content when it first loads but then dynamically shows this content after
the page loads, JAWS will not announce the new content. 
The safest course of action when developing Web pages is to hide anything in
the HTML when the page first loads that should not be shown. Then, only hide
or display content when the user interacts with the page (e.g., by clicking
a link or item with an onClick attribute). When the user clicks text, links,
images, and so on, JAWS asks Internet Explorer for the HTML again, and
updates the page.
A JAWS user can press INSERT+ESC to refresh the page content in the virtual
document. However, the source that is passed to JAWS by Internet Explorer
should represent the current visible state of the page. This won't happen if
the page source does not reflect the true visibility status due to
scripting. If that is the case, JAWS still won't have an accurate view of
the document.
JAWS uses style information to try to determine the font name, font size,
font attributes, and text alignment. This information is provided to the
user when he or she presses INSERT+F.
Other than visibility and text attributes, style information is not
interpreted any further. JAWS does not indicate ZIndex."


BUT this question & answer confuses the issue:

"Q: Why does JAWS sometimes read hidden text on an HTML page?
A: If there is text in a label which is explicitly linked to a form field,
JAWS will read that text. This is one example for which JAWS reads hidden
text."

especially "This is one example for which JAWS reads hidden text" which
implies there may be more...

David Wolley wrote:
>Authoring to de facto behaviours is one of the reasons that HTML is so
>badly abused.

A method that I have looked into is the use of the z-index to place labels
behind a form input (in the stacking order) effectively hiding it from view
for CSS capable browsers, but still available to screen readers.

code example:
<div><label style="z-index:-1;position:absolute;" for="poot">poot</label>
<input type="text" id="poot" /></div> 

is this considered a hack?

best regards
stevef



> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Gez Lemon
> Sent: Sunday, 3 April 2005 11:10 PM
> To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: Re: additional label question
> 
> 
> 
> On Apr 3, 2005 6:22 AM, Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org> wrote:
> > > From: "Andrew Kirkpatrick" <andrew_kirkpatrick@wgbh.org>
> >
> > >> > I am wondering, could you have have:
> > >> > .hide { display: none; }
> > >> >
> > >> > And will screen readers still read that?
> > >>
> > >> No, they won't read it. Joe Clark already posted a link to a
> > >> collection of information about this. It is worthwhile reading.
> > >
> > > That's not exactly accurate.  It's not quite as simple as Joe makes it
> > > out to be....
> >
> > > See http://www.webaccessibility.info/lab/displaytest.html for 
> more info.
> >
> > Sure. I was trying to give the over-simplified answer to a 
> simple question
> 
> I think it's even more complicated than how the styles are applied.
> Becky Gibson did some tests a while back about using display: none
> with labels, and they appear to be exposed to JAWS, Windows Eyes, and
> Home Page Reader. I wrote a report about it on Juicy Studio:
> http://juicystudio.com/invisible-form-prompts.asp
> 
> We could do with more data, to find the exact circumstances as to when
> display: none is applied. I assume in the report that because form
> elements are so important, labels are honoured regardless of whether
> they've been hidden with display: none. It would be good to know for
> sure, as there is a lot of misinformation about when it is applied.
> 
> Best regards,
> 
> Gez
> _____________________________
> Supplement your vitamins
> http://juicystudio.com

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Received on Monday, 4 April 2005 00:06:24 GMT

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