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(wrong string) – it is too important to leave at “AAA”

From: WCAG 2.0 Comment Form <nobody@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 08:10:13 +0000 (GMT)
To: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org
Message-Id: <20070629081013.C47A9BDAE@w3c4.w3.org>


Name: Andrew Arch on behalf of Vision Australia
Email: andrew.arch@visionaustralia.org
Affiliation: Vision Australia
Document: W2
Item Number: Success Criterion 2.4.8
Part of Item: 
Comment Type: technical
Summary of Issue: This SC is at a level that will not be adopted by many sites – it is too important to leave at “AAA”
Comment (Including rationale for any proposed change):
Screen reader users commonly use a navigation technique which brings up a list of all the links on the current page. The list of links created by the screen reader software is presented in a separate dialog box or window and enables users to move to a specific links by entering the first letter of the link from the keyboard. For example, entering the letter \"e\" moves the focus to the first link which starts with the letter \"e\", then the second link starting with “e”, and so on.



Having access to this list an important and much used functionality for screen reader users as it allows them quick and easy access to all the links on the page (links being one of the most crucial elements of a web pages).



When the links are presented in this manner, the user has no access to the context in which the link appears on the page without returning to the page and progressively moving through the interactive elements.



It is therefore important to implement meaningful, descriptive, and unique link texts as this allows screen reader users to utilise this important means of navigation (if such link text is not used, for example if all link text consist of the phrase \"click here\", then the links list cannot be used.)



Screen reader users can use the tab key to jump sequentially through all active elements on a page, including link elements. When a link attains focus the screen reader announces the link text. If the link text does not provide a meaningful and descriptive link text, the screen reader user must explore the surrounding text to determine the destination of the link, including determining whether the preceding or the following text provides the relevant information. This slows down the access to page content and navigation and can lead to ambiguity with regards to link destination.



Some users groups with reduced vision (including certain users who rely on screen magnification software) try to minimise any reading so it only includes essential information, as reading places great strain on their eyes. Such users endeavour to navigate and orientate themselves using visual cues such as colours and borders as these do not involve the reading of letters. When such uses scan page content to pick up important information (including links) they are helped by links being rendered with different colours and underlined (as per SC 1.4.1), as this makes the links stand out and therefore easy to pick out from the surrounding text. Implementing meaningful link text helps these users as they only have to read the link text to understand the link destination and do not have to read the surrounding text.



Some users with cognitive disabilities might find it difficult to understand that the destination of links can only be ascertained by reading the surrounding text. Such users can find it confusing that links with identical link text can point to different locations, for example if a page contains 10 \"click here\" links.



Some users with reading difficulties have problems deciphering text, providing these users with clear destinations via the link text is a very important aspect of meeting the needs of the widest range of people with disabilities.



Proposed Change:
Upgrade SC 2.4.8 to level AA
Received on Friday, 29 June 2007 08:10:15 UTC

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