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RE: <span> within a word any issue for screen readers?

From: Colin Lieberman <clieberman@dralegal.org>
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2006 09:34:57 -0800
To: <lois@lois.co.uk>, "'Elizabeth J. Pyatt'" <ejp10@psu.edu>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: 20060109123520.GA84357@mail26c.sbc-webhosting.com>

> In user documentation, it is common to underline the
> letter that activates a menu or other screen control
> in conjunction with a modifier key

Excellent example. The one that came to mind for we would be for
illuminating the first letter on a page, where you could use a style to
replace the letter with an image, but the letter could still be hiding in
there for non-visual users.

Examples aside, the issue here is an important one, and the original
questions about UA handling of other inline elements such as em and strong
is a good one.

My reading is that inline elements should *not* be treated as structural
breaks, unless they of an inherently structural nature (e.g. table cells).
If a user agent is treating some stylistic inline elements (such as em and
strong) as non-breaking, and span as breaking, then that feels to me like
either a poor implementation of standards, or a bug.

Colin Lieberman
IT Manager
Disability Rights Advocates
2001 Center Street, Third Floor
Berkeley, California  94704-1204

510 665 8644 x.134 (Tel)
510 665 8716 (TTY)
510 665 8511 (Fax)

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of Lois Wakeman
Sent: Monday, January 09, 2006 9:27 AM
To: 'Elizabeth J. Pyatt'; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: <span> within a word any issue for screen readers?


Elizabeth,
> This may be a dumb question, but does the same thing happen with
> STRONG, B, EM, and I? For instance, if I bold-face a letter with B or
> STRONG, will Window-eyes think it's a space?
Your post prompts me to think of a real world example where this AT
behaviour might cause problems. In user documentation, it is common to
underline the letter that activates a menu or other screen control in
conjunction with a modifier key: e.g. "Use the Print Pre<u>v</u>iew menu to
see what your file will look like" (or one could better use a styled span to
achieve same).
I agree with others that it is very frustrating to try and make things
better/more usable for people and be tripped up by unexpected or unwanted
behaviours.
Lois Wakeman
-------------------------
http://communicationarts.co.uk
http://lois.co.uk
Received on Monday, 9 January 2006 17:35:36 GMT

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