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Implicit labeling and ancient changes to h44

From: Birkir Gunnarsson <birkir.gunnarsson@deque.com>
Date: Sat, 7 May 2016 21:05:45 -0400
To: <public-comments-wcag20@w3.org>
Message-ID: <002a01d1a8c5$c0a1d4f0$41e57ed0$@deque.com>


I have been involved in a lengthy debate in recent days after discovering an
issue with Voiceover and implicitly labeled radiobuttons.

Implicit label is when a form field is wrapped in the label element along
wit its labeling text.

<label><input type="text" size="40">Please enter your name</label>


A now depircated WCAG technique warned people against using implicit labels:


But more recent versions of WCAG do not refer to implicit labeling either as
a technique or a failure (see h44).

Wrapping a form field and its labeling text in the label element has been a
valid technique in html4.0 and html5.0.


It is supported by most user agents/assistive technologies (there is some
trouble with Dragon dictate, Talkback and, to some extent, Voiceover on


But since WCAG does neither condone nor condemn this technique, in fact does
not mention it at all, I have notice confusion in how automated
accessibility tools call its use.

For example:

HTML code sniffer calls it a failure.

aXe does not.


Is there any chance that a future revision of the WCAG standard includes a
section on implicit labeling under a technique or failure related to 1.3.1,
so that this debate may be settled?


Given that it is one of two valid uses of the <label> element, I feel that
the WCAG documentation needs to take a stance on it.

I, personally, believe it should be a valid accessible technique for
labeling form fields, though perhaps some kind of warning can be added that
explicit labeling is preferable.


But what I am most concerned about is the uncertainty and possible
inconsistency stemming from the fact that the WCAG standard does not cover
implicit labeling.





Received on Sunday, 8 May 2016 01:30:33 UTC

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