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Re: Accessibility features

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2006 03:06:17 +0000
Message-ID: <43DADFA9.7090708@splintered.co.uk>
To: Janet Perkins Corbett <Perky@uwyo.edu>
CC: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Janet Perkins Corbett wrote:

Ok, just on the wording, a few thoughts:

> "Banner Self-Service Web pages may include one or many of the following
> accessibility features: 
> *  ALT text for icons 

This is such an essential and basic part of web content accessibility 
that I'm not sure it should be advertised as a "feature" at all.

> *  Bubble text for icons and some links 

Do they mean that certain icons and links provide additional information 
via the title attribute, which on visual browsers triggers a tooltip?

> *  Increase text size using the view pulldown menu found in Internet
> Explorer Web Browser 

So, reading between the lines: we're not setting font sizes in pixels...
Probably better to word it something like "Text freely resizable via the 
browser's text size functionality (e.g. in Internet Explorer, View > 
Text Size; for other browsers, consult your browser's help files for 
information on how to access this functionality)"

> *  Access keys for navigation links: Site Map = ALT+2, Help = ALT+H, and
> ALT+3 = Exit"

I wouldn't mention ALT, as it's platform specific. Possibly an approach 
like in the previous one "Access keys for navigation: Site Map = 2, Help 
= H (which incidentally is very unfortunate choice, as it overrides the 
browser's own help menu in IE, FF, and others). To activate access keys 
in Internet Explorer, use the ALT KEY + access key combination. For 
other browsers, consult..."

And as far as the features themselves go:

 > Assuming we have control over
 > this, if there's already a text link after or before the icon, the alt
 > attribute should be set thusly: alt = " "

Actually, it should be a completely empty, null attribute alt=""
Even better: if the icon just serves as a visual addition to an existing 
text link, why not use CSS to add the image, without having to put an 
IMG in the markup?

 > Invisible skip links specifically for screen readers to jump to main
 > content  - absolutely a very essential feature

It's not just blind users that benefit from skip links. Sighted users 
with mobility impairments can take advantage of them as well...but 
obviously not if they're completely unaware of their presence. You could 
either keep the links visible, or use some specific :hover/:focus 
styling to make the skip links appear when tabbed to.

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
Received on Saturday, 28 January 2006 03:06:26 UTC

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