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Re: I feel that the 2 sufficient techniques should be 'and' not 'or'.

From: Sailesh Panchang <spanchang02@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2011 12:21:44 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <21878.33992.qm@web111725.mail.gq1.yahoo.com>
To: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org
Cc: sheena.mccullagh@blueyonder.co.uk
Sheena wrote:
> Skip links are of main benefit to sighted users who navigate via the
> keyboard and are of only very limited benefit to screen reader users.
>  However H69 (heading elements) is only of use to screen readers and
> provides no help whatsoever for sighted users navigating via the keyboard.
WG response:
>It is only necessary to implement one of the listed sufficient techniques
>for this, or any other, success criterion. Authors may choose to implement
>more than one technique to improve usability, of course.
I too had raised this issue  (see topic: Sufficient techniques- definition and guidance) ...[1] 
>Specifically, consider SC 2.4.1 for skipping blocks of content:
>There are two groups of sufficient techniques: one for an actual skip nav >link and the other set for proper structural markup like heading, frames, >etc.
>One may conclude that if headings are implemented (H69) of group#2 of >sufficient techniques, then SC 2.4.1 is met.
>But user agent notes for H69 acknowledge that this does not work in all >situations. The actual skip nav link technique does work for a wider set >of situations.
> Then are individual techniques of the second group really sufficient?
>So while group# 2 of the sufficient techniques for SC 2.4.1 is helpful >and enhances navigation abilities, they are not sufficient by themselves >given today's
>user agent scenario.
>As for me, besides skip nav, I recommend headings and use of landmark >roles too to clients.

And WG responded:
>- You CAN use just one of the techniques and you would meet the absolute >REQUIREMENTS for the success criterion. 
>- However, that is not all you can do in many situations.  There are >other things you can do beyond the minimum needed to pass the success >criteria.  
Sheena and I are not talking usability here  but accessibility. And WCAG2 addresses needs of a wider spectrum of PWDs than just screen reader users. Sighted keyboard users are an important constituency for SC 2.4.1. 
Yes headings work with screen readers and Opera but skip nav works for a wider set of users as stated earlier. For the limited purpose of SC 2.4.1, the skip-nav technique is a sufficient technique. H69 is not. It  enhances "usability".  
Use of headings may be required to satisfy SC 1.3.1 (see H42) and as an auxiliary benefit will help navigation too. By requiring H42 for SC 1.3.1 and the skip-nav technique for SC 2.4.1, the techniques will address the needs of  a larger set of PWD and the WCAG 2 will do more for accessibility. Not less.  
As H69 has user-agent limitations I had suggested do away with H69 as h42 is present some 2-3 years ago. I reiterate that.
Finally, one does not go around adding heading tags simply to help keyboard navigation but to mark up section headings to expose structure. But websites can be required to add one skip nav link as has been the practice since S508 became law.
There are many many U.S. fed gov websites    that do not implement headings because it was not needed by S508 but do have skip nav link.
Not sure many are aware of a plugin to make keyboard navigation work with headings for browsers like IE and FF. Maybe a links should be given as a resource for H69 if it is retained. H69 may be an advisory technique ..

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-comments-wcag20/2011Mar/0011.html

Sailesh Panchang
Web Accessibility Specialist

Received on Thursday, 24 March 2011 19:22:18 UTC

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