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Re: Using ARIA role=heading without aria-level to improve user experience

From: Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2014 10:27:05 -0400
Message-ID: <CAJi9CqpCSus5eKWod+XtBEqqrj45-SHvYK44jmPVz6h_wGyLtA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Bryan Garaventa <bryan.garaventa@whatsock.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Hello Bryan,
Please see ARIA12 including example #1 and its wording
And the code validates successfully too.
The specs for aria-level say:
If the DOM ancestry accurately represents the level, the user agent
can calculate the level of an item from the document structure. This
attribute can be used to provide an explicit indication of the level
when that is not possible to calculate from the document structure or
the aria-owns ...

So aria-level is not mandatory when role=heading is used.
As noted in the explanation for the illustration (on
http://www.deque.com/blog/accessible-html-heading-markup/), even
without aria-level the text is exposed explicitly as a heading to SR
users. Sure it will help users if it is more explicit.
And the point of the article is that in some situations one can pass
SC 1.3.1 and SC 2.4.10 without explicit heading markup. I have seen
many pages (privacy / security terms or terms to be agreed to before
continuing sign up, etc.) where there are text labels that serve as
headings but are not styled distinctively. The UI designers / content
authors refuse to change appearance of these "headings" or are unable
to mark them up as h<n> and style them.

On 8/13/14, Bryan Garaventa <bryan.garaventa@whatsock.com> wrote:
> Is a heading without a level really a valid heading though?
> For instance, <h> doesn't exist </h>
> There would be no way to convey structural nesting.
> I think it would be a mistake to allow this using ARIA role='heading'.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sailesh Panchang [mailto:sailesh.panchang@deque.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 6:22 AM
> To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: Using ARIA role=heading without aria-level to improve user
> experience
> FYI "Accessible HTML Heading Markup"
> http://www.deque.com/blog/accessible-html-heading-markup/
> Thanks,
> Sailesh Panchang
Received on Thursday, 14 August 2014 14:27:35 UTC

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