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Re: Hiding Headings

From: Russ Weakley <russ@maxdesign.com.au>
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 14:57:28 +1000
Cc: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-Id: <89DF5292-82ED-4DCF-8BE8-DFCD273CB86B@maxdesign.com.au>
To: Vivienne CONWAY <v.conway@ecu.edu.au>
Hi Vivian,

In 2006 Roger Hudson and I did a range of testing with blind users. 

We noticed that screen-reader and refreshable braille device users found the different content areas of the page hard to define and sometimes confusing - content that was not confusing for sighted uses. However, when descriptive headings were added to the page the purpose of each area ofd the page become much clearer for these users. 

We decided to call these headings “structural labels”, though others may have been using the technique well before this time.

"The inclusion of structural labels seems to be an effective and relatively simple solution to the significant problem some screen reader users have in identifying the different elements on a page."

Of course, that was before WAI-ARIA landmark roles - which allow us to describe chunks of content without having to resort to "work arounds" like hidden headings. I'd say the use of hidden headings to aid AT's is out of date and unnecessary now... but I'd love to hear other opinions too!


On 18/06/2012, at 2:31 PM, Vivienne CONWAY wrote:

> Hi all
> I'm looking for some advice about the WCAG 2.0 compliance issue of hiding headings.
> While the only reason I can (so far) see for hiding the headings is to not clutter the design, I can't see much benefit in the technique.  Now, does it pass 1.3.1. in that how can you see if it demonstrates the structure of the document if you can't see them.  In the case I'm looking at, you can list them with NVDA or JAWS, and you can see them when you turn off CSS.
> In your opinion, does it pass 1.3.1 and 2.4.6?
> Regards
> Vivienne L. Conway, B.IT(Hons), MACS CT, AALIA(cs)
> PhD Candidate & Sessional Lecturer, Edith Cowan University, Perth, W.A.
> Director, Web Key IT Pty Ltd.
> v.conway@ecu.edu.au<mailto:v.conway@ecu.edu.au>
> v.conway@webkeyit.com<mailto:v.conway@webkeyit.com>
> Mob: 0415 383 673
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Received on Monday, 18 June 2012 04:57:58 UTC

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