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Re: Using Heading to Replace Skip Links

From: Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2012 10:36:17 -0400
Message-ID: <CAJi9CqpwUDNWf7JZ7iDyftO4W7=4dztk01tBEXA-sULRrnhnRw@mail.gmail.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
H69 is listed as a sufficient technique i.e. the connotation is that
it can be used  by itself to meet SC 2.4.1. I believe this is

On 5/17/12, Userite <richard@userite.com> wrote:
> If I may but in here...
> There is nothing that says that any single technique should enable you to
> completely meet a particular success criteria. For any particular problem
> you need to select one or more techniques that together meet your need. This
> approach gives the designer the flexibility to meet the widest possible
> range of situations.
> So for skipping repeated elements such as navigation lists the technique of
> correct semantic code (headings) helps blind users whilst the "skip to
> content" technique helps sighted keyboard users. One does not replace the
> other. The semantic technique works for blind users because we typically
> list the headings as soon as the page opens. we only list the links if the
> content, as described by the headings, does not interest us. Sighted
> keyboard users can see the headings but cannot get to them directly because
> most browsers do not have the function to list headings so they have to tab
> through the navigation links to get to any links in the content, unless you
> provide the skip function. If you want to be able to use semantic code for
> page navigation by everybody (including sighted users) then you need to talk
> to all the web-browser manufacturers and persuade them ALL to add the
> facility and the necessary extra buttons to their current and legacy
> browsers - Good luck!
> Don't forget that the use of the semantic technique does more than just help
> a user to get to the content, it also gives us an overview of the page and
> gives us the option to go to just a particular sections. It also helps
> programmes such as search robots and data analysis to catalogue page content
> more accurately. Skipping repetitive content, sample code, ascii art etc.
> saves effort for the sighted keyboard user but does not add value to the
> content, so the two techniques have different purposes and cannot be
> combined (even though they can, in the context of skipping navigation bars,
> perform similar functions).
> In the meantime please use the *selection* of relevant techniques that are
> required to enable all users to have a positive and constructive experience
> when visiting your sites.
> Kind Regards
> Richard
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sailesh Panchang
> Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2012 5:53 PM
> To: Devarshi Pant
> Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Using Heading to Replace Skip Links
> Devarshi,
> Someone from WCAG-WG should weigh in ... I too had made the same
> argument to them before.
> I also highlight out that there are techniques that point to multiple
> SC. So a technique that addresses multiple accessibility problems can
> be coherently combined into one and should be done for headings.
> Well breadcrumb or left nav  is  a 'section' of a page that is
> visually identified as a section even though they contain UI elements
> mostly. Non-sighted users too should be able to perceive them in like
> manner and navigate to them if needed. Aria-landmarks help now. But
> some prefer to use off-screen headings to provide this functionality
> instead.
> Sailesh
> On 5/16/12, Devarshi Pant <devarshipant@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Sailesh,
>> You make a valid point in your post. I think there should be greater
>> consensus on whether H69 is sufficient or not for SC 2.4.1, which
>> seemed to be the intent of the original post by Vivienne - correct me
>> otherwise. Also note that the definition of section (from
>> understanding SC 2.4.10 – Key Terms) reads: “A self-contained portion
>> of written content that deals with one or more related topics or
>> thoughts. Note: A section may consist of one or more paragraphs and
>> include graphics, tables, lists and sub-sections.”
>> Correct me, but this definition seems to imply that a section is part
>> of the written content besides other things. If one is to replace
>> ‘headings’ with ‘structure’ and ‘content’ with ‘sections,’ H42
>> becomes, “…HTML and XHTML heading markup to provide semantic code for
>> headings (implying *structure*) in the content (implying *from which
>> Sections are derived*). Isn’t this H69 written differently? On a
>> related note, G141 and H69 may talk about the same thing but then
>> refer to different success criteria. Shouldn’t there be a single
>> technique on headings which points to multiple success criteria?
>> To help understand, I took a line from each of the techniques below:
>> **H42: The objective of this technique is to use HTML and XHTML
>> heading markup to provide semantic code for headings in the content.
>> (SC 1.3.1)
>> **H69: The objective of this technique is to use section headings to
>> convey the structure of the content. (SC 2.4.1)
>> **G141: The objective of this technique is to ensure that sections
>> have headings that identify them. (SC 1.3.1; 2.4.10)
>> -Devarshi
>>>>Sailesh wrote:
>> H69 is authored with reference to SC 2.4.1 and not SC 2.4.10. That's
>> why I maintain that  being able to skip to an h1 or h2 that hopefully
>> is the main content is a byproduct of user agent's feature that lets
>> one skip headings to comprehend page structure etc. Then it does not
>> deserve to be a separate technique but maybe merged with H42.
>> Yes as you note, some pages do not have headings at start of some
>> content sections. Typically left nav or breadcrumb nav and sometimes
>> even main content, though there might be other headings on the page.
>> One may insert invisible headings to aid screen reader navigation ...
>> this is exploiting the screen reader's heading navigation feature.
>> This will not work for sighted keyboard users. Adding visible
>> headings where none exist will help the page comply with SC 2.4.10
>> (AAA) and might provide an alternative way to skip to
>> main content SC 2.4.1).
Received on Friday, 18 May 2012 14:36:51 UTC

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