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Re: Heading structure with 1.3.1 Info and Relationships and 2.4.1 Bypass Block

From: Userite <richard@userite.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2017 14:58:56 -0000
Message-ID: <82143FEC3E5841C1B20514843E5F7B9D@RichardPC>
To: "Glenda Sims" <glenda.sims@deque.com>, "McSorley, Jan" <jan.mcsorley@pearson.com>
Cc: "WAI Interest Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hi Glenda

When I use a screen-reader (Jaws) I get very frustrated if headings do not follow a logical tree structure.

1.3.1 specifically states that the presentation structure should be *PROGRAMATICALLY DETERMINED*.  Programmes such as Jaws do not have “common sense” or care about “usability”. They rely on a proper tree structure to tell me how a page is structured. If you, as an author, skip a heading level Jaws cannot tell if this is deliberate or carelessness.

When discussing Success Criterea please always bear in mind the fundamental purpose of the criterea.



From: Glenda Sims 
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2017 5:40 PM
To: McSorley, Jan 
Cc: WAI Interest Group 
Subject: Re: Heading structure with 1.3.1 Info and Relationships and 2.4.1 Bypass Block

Jan, Phill, et al 

I agree with Phill, in that skipping heading levels does not fail 1.3.1.  I think it would be a wonderful addition to WCAG 2.1 or Silver.  

WCAG 2.0 is a minimum bar...it is not all best practices.  There were reasons that skipped heading levels were not included in WCAG 2.0 SC 1.3.1. 


glenda sims    |   team a11y lead   |    deque.com    |    512.963.3773      

web for everyone. web on everything. -  w3 goals

On Tue, Jan 3, 2017 at 11:18 AM, McSorley, Jan <jan.mcsorley@pearson.com> wrote:

  With all due respect, I don't agree that skipping headings is "an equal usability issue for everyone." I believe that it is much more time-consuming, and potentially confusing, for a person without sight to determine what is happening with heading structures that skip heading levels than it is for a person with sight.

  I believe that heading structure for people who rely on the use of screen reading technology means something more than people who are able to see visual headings.  People who can see the headings, don't rely on them for navigation in the same way people without sight do.  I think that it is unfortunate that consensus could not be met to use best practice with heading structure.  It is certainly a fairness issue in assessment and I believe that it has a much bigger impact on usability than people think it does.

        Jan McSorley
        VP, Accessibility
        Psychometrics and Testing Services
        400 Center Ridge Drive, Suite E
        Austin, TX  78753
        M - (512) 673-9569
        Twitter: @Jan_McSorley
        Skype:  jan.mcsorley
        Learn more at pearson.com 

  We put a man on the moon in the 1960's ... surely we can make information technology fully accessible to people with disabilities.  It can be done ... it must be done ... it will be done!

  On Tue, Jan 3, 2017 at 11:01 AM, Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com> wrote:

    1.3.1Info and Relationships: Information, structure, and relationshipsconveyed through presentationcan be programmatically determined or are available in text. (Level A) 

    1. I do not believe skipping a heading level is an issue for assistive software users any more than it is for a non-assistive software user.  In other words, it is an equal usability issue for everyone, but not a 1.3.1 success failure. 

    2. I agree that headings (H1-H6) should be used structurally as the HTML markup language semantics intended them to be used, but 1.3.1 does not require the use of headings, does not required that headings be used all the time in all content, nor that when heading are used that they be used sequentially, nor that there only be one and only one heading level 1 per page.

    3. 1.3.1 doesn't require that presentation include structure, but that if and when it does present structure and relationships through presentation, that the same information is available through mark-up (or available in text). 

    If we want to "add" a new success criteria that requires that if and when heading levels are used, that they be used sequentially, but we have to allow for many situations that are consistent with the intent of the HTML specification.  For example:
    a. Page that is quoting a part of a page that doesn't include a heading level 1 should be allowed.  In other words starting with a heading level 2 or 3.

    b. Heading level 2 can follow a heading 3 or 4 if it is going back up a level.  For example:

    c.  Page that doesn't include any heading level 3's, but uses a consistent heading level 4 for all footers across a set of pages should be allowed.  In other words, it is OK to skip a heading level on a page in some situations.  

    So, with these examples we can begin to see why the working group could NOT reach consensus to ALWAYS require the use of headings, ALWAYS starting heading level 1 and NEVER skipping a heading level. 
    Phill Jenkins
    Senior Engineer & Accessibility Executive
    IBM Research Accessibility
Received on Wednesday, 4 January 2017 14:59:35 UTC

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