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Exposing multiple banner roles

From: Léonie Watson <tink@tink.uk>
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 2016 12:12:57 -0000
To: <public-aria@w3.org>
Message-ID: <af9101d16333$39193410$ab4b9c30$@tink.uk>
The topic of discussion on the APG call yesterday, was whether we should
allow multiple instances of role="banner" within a document [1]. The example
being discussed was a facebook page [2].

The scenario: there is a region of content that contains information about
Beat Children's Theatre. It has two images followed by a heading, then some
other content. I think the argument is that this region should be exposed as
a banner because there is no other convenient way to navigate to the start
of it.

I'm hesitant to use a single example as a basis for changing a spec, but
apparently this is a common pattern on the web. With this particular use
case, the navigation problem could be solved without exposing an additional
banner role.

The first of the two images before the heading has an improbably long alt
text (500+ words). The alt text contains information (performance dates,
theatre location., cast and crew listing) that is not available in the image
itself. The result is that for screen reader users there is a substantial
amount of content before the heading, making the heading an impractical
navigational hook. Giving the image a reasonable alt text would make a
significant difference.

The heading itself could be moved before the two images. This would not
seriously impact the visual presentation of the content.

If a landmark was absolutely needed, then the region role could be applied
to the containing <div> and a suitable label provided.
Part of the argument was that this region of content represented a "site
within a site". I'm not convinced this is a distinction many people would
naturally make, but if someone really wanted to represent it in this way,
then applying the document role on the parent <div> and then using the
<header> element therein would do the trick.

Conceptually, a single header, main and footer for each page makes sense. I
think that exposing multiple banners within a single document will rapidly
make pages much less usable for screen reader users.

[1] https://www.w3.org/2016/02/08-aria-apg-minutes.html 
[2] https://www.facebook.com/BEATonline.org/

@LeonieWatson tink.uk Carpe diem
Received on Tuesday, 9 February 2016 12:13:16 UTC

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