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Re: Best practices for screen readers

From: Roel Van Gils <roelvangils@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2006 17:54:45 +0200
Message-ID: <eec4d3590610060854p15b9ffcew366e302a354d79b7@mail.gmail.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Hi Bianca,

I'm a newbie on this list myself ;) Here are my suggestions.

> 1. When using breadcrumb navigation, it seems to be confusing to me
> (especially since it reads "greater than" for the arrows between the
> links). How do breadcrumbs fit into best practices for accessibility?

First of all, clearly announce the breadcrumb by proceeding it with
'You are here:' (or similar) so screenreader users can quickly
identify the crumbtrail (and decide to skip it).

I don't think you should bother too much about the > ('greater than')
signs. Screenreader users are accustomed to hearing this and will
understand that it presents an arrow. There are several options to get
rid of it though:

* Use images instead of > signs and give them an empty alt-attribute (alt="")
* Use CSS to proceed each link with a > (padding and background-images)
* Enclose the > with a abbr tag (<abbr title="Some
text">&gte;</abbr>). When you do so, most screenreaders will only read
the title attribute. You should put something meaningful in there
(like 'next level').

> 2. Is there a way to make the screen reader know that a number is a
> phone number or street address so it reads 2-9-1-6 instead of 2,916?

I'm not aware of any reliable way to achieve this without adding extra
(unsemantic) tags. This will probably work, but it's not so pretty.

.hide { display: none }

<p>2<span class="hide"> </span>9<span class="hide">1</span><span
class="hide"> </span>6</p>

> 3. Is there a way to use markup to have the reader pause, for example
> between reading a list of links?

Same problem. Screenreaders typically pause at a dot. So what you
could do, is add a dot and hideit with an extra span and some CSS.

Hope this helps. I'm interested in hearing other ideas.

Kind regards,
Roel
--
Roel Van Gils
AnySurfer - Belgisch kwaliteitslabel voor toegankelijke websites
http://blog.anysurfer.be

On 10/6/06, Bianca Taulman <bianca.taulman@laf.org> wrote:
>
> Hi all,
>
> Nice to meet you, I am new to the list and learning more about
> accessibility each day. I have a few questions about ways to make a
> screen reader experience better for a user.
>
> I am using Home Page Reader and I've noticed a couple of things.
>
> 1. When using breadcrumb navigation, it seems to be confusing to me
> (especially since it reads "greater than" for the arrows between the
> links). How do breadcrumbs fit into best practices for accessibility?
>
> 2. Is there a way to make the screen reader know that a number is a
> phone number or street address so it reads 2-9-1-6 instead of 2,916?
>
> 3. Is there a way to use markup to have the reader pause, for example
> between reading a list of links?
>
> I look forward to being a part of this list, thank you!
>
>
> Bianca Taulman
>
>
Received on Friday, 6 October 2006 15:54:51 UTC

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