Disabled form controls- a challenge and failure of SC 1.3.1?

The boolean 'disabled' attribute for a form control disables the control for user input and many developers prefer to use it to:
- present a form in display only or non-edit mode without  altering the format
- turn off input to certain controls conditionally in a form 

Most Developers would not like to use two methods of presentation: one form of presentation for a form in edit mode and another to display the same data in non-edit mode.

Accessibility challenge:
Info and relationship conveyed via  properly marked up form control is not available when the 'disabled' attribute is set on the control. The control does not get focus and is not tab-navigable (as per specs). So screen reader software indicates the control is disabled / unavailable and does not read associated label. Such data should be displayed say in a 2-column data table or marked up with DL-DT-DD instead for instance, thus changing the format in all likelihood. 
Relationship between label and control would then be available in most cases. 
Any thoughts? 
Sailesh Panchang
Deque Systems

But this poses a accessibility problem:


Received on Wednesday, 24 June 2009 22:07:22 UTC