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RE: If "skip to main" link is not the very first link/focusable item on a page, should I call a WCAG 2.0 violation?

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2013 05:06:17 -0700
To: Glenda Sims <glenda.sims@deque.com>, "wai@w3.org" <wai@w3.org>, "public-comments-wcag20@w3.org" <public-comments-wcag20@w3.org>
Message-ID: <EE43A638A0C5E34E80AF78EFE940FC2C021F1147F3@nambx09.corp.adobe.com>
Adding the WCAG 2.0 public comment email - the WG will follow up with you about this.

I'll comment that this technique does require that the link is the first one on the page, but this technique is not the only way to meet 2.4.1.  The techniques are not normative, as you indicate, but sufficient.  This technique is just one sufficient way to meet 2.4.1.


Andrew Kirkpatrick
Group Product Manager, Accessibility
Adobe Systems


From: Glenda Sims [mailto:glenda.sims@deque.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 8:27 PM
To: wai@w3.org
Cc: Glenda Sims
Subject: If "skip to main" link is not the very first link/focusable item on a page, should I call a WCAG 2.0 violation?

Dear WAI,

We are working hard at Deque to make sure that our tools (FireEyes and WorldSpace) accurately interpret the WCAG 2.0 standard.  A current debate on our team is the requirement for the location of the "skip to main" link for meeting 2.4.1 ByPass Blocks.

The normative part of WCAG 2.0 states:

2.4.1 Bypass Blocks: A mechanism<http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#mechanismdef> is available to bypass blocks of content that are repeated on multiple Web pages<http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#webpagedef>. (Level A)

In the informative "Sufficient Techniques" listed for 2.4.1, there is a technique listed:
G1: Adding a link at the top of each page that goes directly to the main content area<http://www.w3.org/TR/2012/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20120103/G1>

In the procedure to test G1, the first step states:

1) Check that a link is the first focusable control on the Web page.

At this point...we are a long, long way from the "normative" part of the WCAG 2.0.

So, the clarification I seek is this?  Should automated accessibility testing tools throw a WCAG 2.0 A violation on 2.4.1 if the "skip to main" link is anything other than the absolute first focusable item on the page?

My humble (personal opinion) is...the normative portion of WCAG 2.0 does not indicate that it must be the first link.  So, I've never demanded that the "skip to main" link be the absolute first item on the page.  However, WorldSpace and FireEyes are currently throwing an WCAG 2.0 2.4.1 violation if the "skip to main" link is not the very first focusable item on a page.

Can you tell me the proper interpretation so I can make sure our software is supporting the true intent of WCAG 2.0 2.4.1.


glenda sims    |    deque.com<http://deque.com>    |    512.963.3773

web for everyone. web on everything. -  w3 goals
Received on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 12:06:51 UTC

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