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Re: WCAG compliance question

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 2016 13:06:43 +0000
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <56D04DE3.2020904@splintered.co.uk>
On 26/02/2016 12:25, Richard (Userite) wrote:
> Yes the site needs to be accessible with CSS enabled AND with it disabled.

I wouldn't say it's as clear cut as that, just as similar statements 
like "a site must work even when JavaScript is disabled" aren't exactly 
true either. Neither of these statements can be found anywhere in the 
letter (nor the spirit, I'd argue) of WCAG 2.0.

> Developers can use CSS to "hide" messages that are aimed at people who
> use screen readers. For example most pages have a top navigation bar
> which requires a heading so that blind users can find it easily. However
> to stop the heading actually showing up on the page for sighted users
> CSS has been used such as, for example,  either {display:none;} or
> {position:left, -1999px;}
> It is not that visual users are getting less than blind users, just that
> additional help is provided for screen readers.
> The fact that your Jaws does not pick up this hidden text suggests that
> the CSS has been written incorrectly.

The "other things" mentioned in the original post may also well be 
dialog boxes, alerts, error messages etc which are intentionally styled 
with display:none to not be visible / absent from the DOM that's exposed 
to AT, and will only be made visible when appropriate. So again, it's 
not a clear-cut situation - without seeing the actual specific case, 
it's not possible to make generalised statements about things being 

Patrick H. Lauke

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Received on Friday, 26 February 2016 13:07:05 UTC

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