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Re: Using Heading to Replace Skip Links

From: Ramón Corominas <listas@ramoncorominas.com>
Date: Wed, 09 May 2012 14:12:51 +0200
Message-ID: <4FAA5F43.5050504@ramoncorominas.com>
To: Vivienne CONWAY <v.conway@ecu.edu.au>
CC: W3C WAI-IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hi, Vivienne and all,

SC 2.4.1 states:

"2.4.1 Bypass Blocks: A mechanism is available to bypass blocks of 
content that are repeated on multiple Web pages. (Level A)"

And "mechanism" is defined as "process or technique for achieving a 
result", with the following note:

"Note 1: The mechanism may be explicitly provided in the content, or may 
be relied upon to be provided by either the platform or by user agents, 
including assistive technologies."

So, in terms of conformance, headings *are* a mechanism that relies upon 
UA/AT support.

In addition, I would consider if the meaning of "bypass blocks" is 
"bypass the tabs" or simply "bypass the content". Even if they cannot 
"skip tabs", Sighted people can simply look after the repeated content 
if the visual design remains the same among pages. For example, I can 
just press "down arrow" to read the page, and I am not obligued to read 
the menus before I can read the main title of an article, so visual 
consistency can be considered a "mechanism" (a technique) to achieve 
"visual bypass". And, for blind people, headings is enough.

My 2 cents (wink)

Vivienne wrote:

> I've been having some discussions with people as to whether using Headings as per H69 can replace the use of skip links for Bypass Blocks (SC 2.4.1.).
> I would appreciate your consideration of this interpretation:
> "Headings can only replace skip links for screen reader users - they don't benefit sighted keyboard-only users (e.g. Prof Hawking) and low vision users using screen magnifiers, for whom skip links work much better (because they don't have shortcut keys to navigate headings).
> Although H69 mentions Opera supports navigation by headings - it's turned off by default and requires a hidden option to turn back on
> http://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/navigation-mechanisms-skip.html
> Techniques and Failures for Success Criterion 2.4.1 - Bypass Blocks
> Each numbered item in this section represents a technique or combination of techniques that the WCAG Working Group deems sufficient for meeting this Success Criterion. The techniques listed only satisfy the Success Criterion if all of the WCAG 2.0 conformance requirements have been met.
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#conformance-reqs
> Conformance Requirements
> 4. Only Accessibility-Supported Ways of Using Technologies: Only accessibility-supported ways of using technologies are relied upon to satisfy the success criteria. Any information or functionality that is provided in a way that is not accessibility supported is also available in a way that is accessibility supported. (See Understanding accessibility support.)
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#accessibility-supporteddef
> accessibility supported
> The way that the Web content technology is used must be supported by users' assistive technology (AT)
> Taken together, my interpretation is you can’t use headings alone to claim conformance with 2.4.1 since they bypass blocks in screen readers but not other assistive technology (e.g. screen magnifiers, switches, voice recognition etc.). It looks the conformance requirements are designed to provide a safety net for cases like this."
Received on Wednesday, 9 May 2012 12:14:27 UTC

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