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Re: Copywriting for Screenreaders (was Alt text for URL's)

From: david poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 07:19:47 -0500
Message-ID: <000901c514ea$fe01c9c0$6401a8c0@DAVIDPC>
To: "Andy Budd" <andy@message.uk.com>, "W" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

The analogy does not fly.  I repeat my question but maybe I am not being 
clear enough, if pages are done right, we dont need to wade through a bunch 
of links whether a screen reader user or for some other reason a keyboard 

A better analogy is putting in two doorways, one for some of us and one for 
all the rest when the building could have been constructed in such a fashion 
as to allow us all in through the same entrance.  Yes, structure that has to 
be cludged is bad structure.  I know all about anchors and their use and 
purpose and find it perfectly acceptable to have them on web pages, but not 
as a reason to keep bad design in the first place and not as a hack to show 
that someone "cares" about accessibility and those poor little finger users 
when all they are trying to do is to sell their legal buyers on the idea 
that they are in compliance with this or that.  I've seen it too often. 
I've seen it not work, I've seen and use pages that worked quite well 
without it thank you very much!

I hope my writing style has improved.

Johnnie Apple Seed
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Andy Budd" <andy@message.uk.com>
To: "W" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2005 4:48 AM
Subject: Re: Copywriting for Screenreaders (was Alt text for URL's)

> Ok,  I'll put it succinctly.  If site navigation is so bad that it
> needs to
> be skipped, how can it be improved so that it does not need to be
> skipped.

Nobody is suggesting that skip links are there to deal with *bad*

Sighted users have the ability to visually skip past site navigation
and straight to the content by scanning the page. However screenreader
users access the page in a linear fashion and can't do this (see caveat
below). The point of skip navigation is to give screenrreader users the
ability to jump directly to the content if that's what they want to do.

Site navigation is usually made up of a number of links, all of which
need to be tabbed past if using the keyboard to navigate. If you're got
to tab past 20 link on each page before you reach the main content,
this can be very tedious and a bar to accessibility.

Some screenreaders can display heading lists. Assuming the users are
familiar with this ability, it can allow them to jump to the main
content in well marked up sites. Also it is possible via CSS to have
the nav come last rather than first. However then people navigating via
the keyboard will have to tab though the who content to get to the nav
bar, which on link heavy pages, could be a nightmare (think a links

Personally I think "skip links" are unobtrusive so I'm really not sure
what your problem with them is. It's kind of like complaining about
putting a lift in a building to increase accessibility because the
stairs could have been made better.

Andy Budd

Received on Thursday, 17 February 2005 12:20:25 UTC

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