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RE: a single label where multiple fields follow

From: Jim Thatcher <jim@jimthatcher.com>
Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2006 09:28:10 -0500
To: "'John Foliot'" <foliot@wats.ca>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000f01c6df1c$82fbb490$0202a8c0@jtcom2400>

John, I totally agree that label is first choice - no equivocation. If the
situation is such that label does not work as was the case when this thread
started (I think) then title or label on hidden text is an option. 

Besides the focus help that you mention there is the simple QA fact that if
the label is used with on-screen text, then when that changes, it changes
for everybody. I was working for a client who used a title attribute on an
entry field that was "last four digits of your social security number". They
changed that and required the last 4 digits of the credit card. But the
title attribute didn't change! It was another case where a blind person
would never be able to complete the transaction.

Accessibility Consulting: http://jimthatcher.com/

-----Original Message-----
From: John Foliot [mailto:foliot@wats.ca] 
Sent: Friday, September 22, 2006 6:16 PM
To: jim@jimthatcher.com; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: a single label where multiple fields follow

Jim Thatcher wrote:
> Hi Paul,
>> Does this mean it is OK to not have any label associated with a
>> control, provided they have a title, fieldset and legend? 
> Yes. Except you imply "title and fieldset/legend." The objective is
> to make a programmatic connection between the prompting text and each
> control. And there are several ways to do that. Label element, title
> attributes, or fieldset/legend combined with label or title, for
> examples.    
> Jim

Not to contradict Jim, but one happy benefit of using the <label> element
wrapped around the actual label text is that it makes that text a 'target'
to place focus on the input.  Small inputs such as radio buttons and
checkboxes can be problematic to users with limited mobility, and allowing
them to click on any part of the text that 'labels' the input, and thus
putting the focus on the input, is a great benefit to this user-group.

So... While you don't *need* to use the label element, I would prefer it
over a title attribute any time...

John Foliot 
Academic Technology Specialist - Online Accessibility
Stanford University
560 Escondido Mall 
Meyer Library 181 
Stanford, CA 94305-3093 
Received on Saturday, 23 September 2006 14:28:33 UTC

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