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Re: Using Heading to Replace Skip Links

From: Ramón Corominas <listas@ramoncorominas.com>
Date: Sat, 12 May 2012 14:30:51 +0200
Message-ID: <4FAE57FB.2@ramoncorominas.com>
To: Adam Cooper <cooperad@bigpond.com>
CC: 'W3C WAI-IG' <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hi again,

Adam said:

 > headings are indeed a mechanism for skipping blocks of content using 
navigation  keys, but:
 > 1. they are not necessarily repeated or repeated consistently across 
multiple pages  (as per the sentiments of SC3.2.3)

Headings are sufficient "if used properly".

 > 2. the features of assistive technologies used to traverse headings 
can be disabled, modified, or not present (i.e., relied upon)

I don't know any screen reader that doesn't support heading navigation. 
Can you provide examples? On the other hand, this functionality is 
active by default. If the user disables this functionality, I think it 
is a problem of the user, not of the page.

 > 3. the purpose of headings is to organise content - it's a happy 
accident that they offer some navigational utility to some users in some 

I would not call this "an accident". Headings are a mechanism to 
organise content. Screen readers must provide a mechanism to access 
organised content. It is like saying that being able to navigate a 
properly marked-up table occurs "by accident".

 > I guess this means, from a practical point of view, like every 
browser having a back button, all pages should have appropriate skip to 
links before the header section?

Good point. Maybe all browsers should provide a mechanism to skip to the 
main heading of a document. But skip links are not part of the content. 
They are a mechanism that web creators provide to go beyond the 
browsers' limitations. In the end, skip mechanisms should probably be in 
the User Agent field, not in the Web Content.

Received on Saturday, 12 May 2012 12:31:26 UTC

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