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HTML5 DL Element vs. WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria

From: Mike Elledge <melledge@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2014 08:37:09 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <1391704629.97467.YahooMailNeo@web125501.mail.ne1.yahoo.com>
To: "WCAG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hi Everyone--

I have a question about the use of the DL element.

HTML5 seems to have broadened the use case for the DL element to include occasions where a list would benefit from a built-in descriptive heading instead of using <hx> or presenting information in a data table. If used in this way, DL provides more flexibility in presenting list items and enables screen readers to announce both the heading and list items together, which (it seems) would improve both usability and accessibility for persons. 


This is particularly true where, for example, a search returns collections of information containing different categories (for example, a list of the courses a student is taking, each of which contains information about the instructor or instructors, rooms, dates, subject matter, etc.) that could be placed in a table, but is more readable when shown in discrete chunks (course by course, for example). A tempting way around this is to put text within an unordered list, which results in screen readers speaking first the heading then the items, but doing this creates invalid code.


In contrast, WCAG 2.0 limits DL to its HTML4 role as a definition (as in a Glossary), which would preclude an expanded use of DL.


Will WCAG 2.0 be revised to include the more flexible implementation of DL, or have I misunderstood DL's re-definition in HTML5?

Any input about this would be greatly appreciated!

Best regards,

Mike Elledge
Received on Thursday, 6 February 2014 16:40:28 UTC

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