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

From: Bryan Garaventa <bryan.garaventa@whatsock.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2014 11:09:32 -0700
To: "'Sailesh Panchang'" <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000c01cfb7ea$e91bb090$bb5311b0$@whatsock.com>
Thanks, I understand, what I was referring to though was the following from the article:

"The subsection titles appear the same visually for both ARIA1 and ARIA2, yet they are different for screen reader users. Just for demonstration, the titles under ARIA2 are marked up with ARIA role=”heading”. Even without an aria-level these headings help screen reader users to discover content and navigate efficiently. JAWS ascribes a heading level to these too (incorrectly it appears in this case), while NVDA and VoiceOver (in iOS) merely expose them as headings. (Freedom Scientific has been alerted of this)."

>From this, it sounds like you are saying that there should be no implicit level?

-----Original Message-----
From: Sailesh Panchang [mailto:sailesh.panchang@deque.com] 
Sent: Thursday, August 14, 2014 7:27 AM
To: Bryan Garaventa
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Using ARIA role=heading without aria-level to improve user experience

Hello Bryan,
Please see ARIA12 including example #1 and its wording http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-TECHS/ARIA12.html
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 18:10:51 UTC

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