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RE: Skip Nav Ideas

From: gregory j. rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 00:19:21 -0400 (EDT)
To: jim@jimthatcher.com
cc: sec508@trace.wisc.edu, Katie Haritos-Shea <kshea@apollo.fedworld.gov>, michael_cortese@ita.doc.gov, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org, wai-xtech@w3.org, w3c-wai-eo@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.BSI.3.95.1010604223002.362A-200000@ns.hicom.net>
aloha, jim!

your points are well taken, as are kynn's cautions, but i agree that
whatever tools we have at our disposal to provide access to currently
inaccessible and less-than-accessible sites, should be used, even if they
are hacks -- the important considerations are: does this hack that
benefits user groups x, y, and z also work for groups p and q?  does it
mask an existing problem or expose a hole?  do authors and developers
alike know that it is only a hack/kludge and not a solution?  are the
correct WGs working on the underlying problem, and are developers working
with/listening to them?

JT: I guess it is not surprising that I like Gregory's technique too,
except for the problem that screen readers know about visibility:hide and
so you would have to have style sheets disabled. 

GJR: hmm...  i thought i had used display:none, not visibility:hidden, as
i know for a fact that JFW 3.7.x (and all earlier COM-DOM aware versions
of JFW) treat a non-rendered/invisible link as an aural renderer should:
as a link...  links classed to display:none appear in JFW's links list,
are accessible via tab navigation, and are treated as any other text
string in a document when the document is read in full or on-load...  the
aural equivalent of display:none is speak:none, which is what
screen-readers should respect -- anything styled with display:none should
simply be treated as text to which an irrelevant bit of visual styling has
been applied...

admittedly, the CSS2 section on display seems to imply that display:none
should apply to all media types, but Section 19 is unambiguous on this

This property specifies whether aurally and, if so, in what manner
(somewhat analogous to the 'display' property). The possible values are:

    Suppresses aural rendering so that the element takes no time 
    to render. Note, however, that descendants may override this
    value and will be spoken. (To be sure to rendering of an 
    element and its descendants, use the 'display' property).
source: http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/aural.html#speaking-props

interestingly, after defining the 2 other values for the 'speak' property
(normal and spell-out), the CSS2 rec states:

Note the difference between an element whose 'volume' property has a value
of 'silent' and an element whose 'speak' property has the value 'none'.
The former takes up the same time as if it had been spoken, including any
pause before and after the element, but no sound is generated. The latter
requires no time and is not rendered (though its descendants may be).

which further underscores the point that 'speak' is to aural real estate
what 'display' is to visual real estate...  volume:silent is, then, the
aural analog of visibility:hidden

in any event, i've attached a test of screen-readers' ability to speak
text styled to display:none and to visibility:hidden to this emessage so
that we can gather further data... the both blocks of "invisible" text and
both "invisible" links are present in JFW's aural rendering of the page
(using IE 5.5 SP1)

i've taken the liberty of pointing visitors to the attached invisible
text test page to send comments to wai-xtech@w3.org (the
cross-working-group list whose archives live at:

this is precisely the type of thread which wai-xtech was designed to 
archive, and i wouldn't be surprised if the owners of some of the lists to
which this thread has been cross-posted begin to ask us to limit further 
discussions on this topic to wai-xtech

ACCOUNTABILITY, n.  The mother of caution.
                     -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_
Gregory J. Rosmaita:  oedipus@hicom.net
Camera Obscura: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html
VICUG NYC: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/vicug/index.html
Read 'Em & Speak: http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/books/index.html

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" lang="en" xml:lang="en">

<title>Test of Screen-Readers' Ability to Speak Invisible Text</title>

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />

<meta name="description" content="Test of screen-readers' ability to aurally 
render text which has not been visually rendered due to the application of 
CSS2's display:none property/value set." />

<meta name="author" content="Gregory J. Rosmaita" />
<meta name="generator" content="Gregory J. Rosmaita" />

<style type="text/css">
body { color:black; background:white; font-family:sans-serif; }
.explanation { margin:2.5%; border:solid black thin; background:white; padding:.5em; }
.hide { display:none }



<a name="backtop" id="backtop"></a>
<h1>Test of Screen-Readers' Ability to Speak Invisible Text</h1>

<p class="explanation">
This page has been constructed in order to gather information about the 
interaction between screen-readers and text which has not been visually 
rendered. Visitors to this page are strongly encouraged to provide feedback
Please be as specific as possible, and be sure to include the name and version 
number of the browser and any adaptive/assistive technology you used to access 
the content of this page. Please send your comments and observations to 
&lt;<a href="mailto:wai-xtech@w3.org?subject=Invisible%20Text%20Test" 
>wai-xtech@w3.org</a>&gt;. Comments will be stored in a <a 
href="http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/">public archive</a>.

The <code>display:none</code> <acronym title="Cascading Style Sheet"
>CSS</acronym> property/value set has been applied to the following 
paragraph, which a <a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/conform.html"
>CSS-conformant user agent</a> should not render to the screen.

<p class="hide">
This is some text that should be invisible to the naked eye, but audibly 
and tactilely present. <a href="#backtop">This is an invisible link</a> 
which will take you back to the top of this page.

<hr noshade="noshade" title="Guilty Party" />

<address>constructed by <a href="mailto:oedipus@hicom.net,unagi69@concentric.net?subject=Invisible%20Text%20Test" 
>Gregory J. Rosmaita</a> on 4 June 2001; last modified 11:10 <abbr 
title="post meridian (after noon)" lang="la">PM</abbr> 6/4/2001

<hr title="Validation Information" />

<p class="validation">

<a href="http://validator.w3.org/check/referer" 
title="Validate this page's XHTML, using the W3C Validator"><img 
src="http://validator.w3.org/images/vxhtml10" alt="W3C Validated XHTML 1.0!"
style="border:0;width:88px;height:31px" /></a>


<a href="http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/validator-uri.html" 
title="Validate this page's stylesheet, using the W3C CSS Validator"
><img style="border:0;width:88px;height:31px"
alt="W3C Validated CSS!" /></a>

Received on Tuesday, 5 June 2001 00:19:34 UTC

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