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

From: Franseth, Greg <Franseth@uky.edu>
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2006 08:59:18 -0500
Message-ID: <A823CE8BF913B1439698E791884856BA02926F0C@e2kb31.ad.uky.edu>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

>I come late to this discussion, and from what I can tell the accesskey
>debate has been beaten down (thanks to the crew).  Which then leaves
but
>one question, why is the author underlining simply one letter within a
>word?  If you remove the need for visually rendering a hint to an
>accesskey that may or may not be broken, what other reason exists for
>this type of coding behavior?  And more to the point, if it is simply a
>visual rendering, how is this "important" information being delivered
to
>non-visual user-agents?  I realize that these questions have surfaced
>already, but I take it back to the beginning - why do you need to
>support this behavior anyway?
>
>JF

I've been following this discussion with interest, so in answer to your
question, I think it is more than accesskeys.  Here are a few examples I
know of:

* We have an online style manual which uses strikeout and caps to
emphasize correct spellings of commonly misspelled words.  
* We often capitalize or change font on UK (for University of Kentucky)
when it appears mid-word because we're so clever :-P
* We have a friendly competition with a fellow University.  The
competition name is colored half in blue and half in red as a result.
* We have a forum on Appalachia which underlines the word Appalachian or
a shortening thereof in its topics (example, lachian would be underlined
in a discussion of the Afrilachian poets)

Obviously these are all presentational and the actual change is handled
through CSS, but they require the span tag to be placed mid-word and, if
this causes readers to break up the word, is a problem.  I'm not sure
how we would want this to be handled for accessibility.  The second and
third cases are strictly visual.  The last case is somewhat marginal,
but it does help indicate the connection, though it can be discerned
from the words.  The first case, however, would require a rewrite.
Rather than saying "the following are examples of commonly misspelled
words," Our folks would have to indicate the spelling error in each:
"Separate, not seperate."  There's something to be said for this since
it gives more information.  I'd have ot go through the entire manual to
see if this applies in every case.

-Greg
Received on Tuesday, 10 January 2006 13:59:24 GMT

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