RE: Is content on hover only a WCAG failure?

Hi James,

>If the content provided by hover is provided in another way then the processes and the outcomes are achievable through user action.

Again, let’s extend that logic… Does that mean that if I have 5 buttons on the page that perform the same function, I only need to make one of them keyboard accessible?

>There may be multiple places where that same tooltip shows and the author, being considerate to keyboard users and not wanting to overwhelm them by pressing tab too many times, only made one of them focusable and hence only added the tooltip onfocus to that one.

Or, perhaps, you’ve overwhelmed them with anger and annoyance because they can clearly see there’s an icon there to show a tooltip but they have no way of accessing it.  They would need a mouse user to verify the information is repetitive for them.  If the author feels it is beneficial to people without disabilities to provide information multiple times in multiple ways, then why should that benefit not be extended to people with disabilities?  (Sorry, pet peeve of mine when authors claim they know what’s best for my disability).

>There are many other similar scenarios. The SC is clear that the functionality needs to be available - not that every instance onmouseover needs a keyboard equivalent.

I do not think that is clear at all and is a very slippery slope…


From: James Nurthen []
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 12:43 PM
To: Repsher, Stephen J <>; John Foliot <>
Cc: WCAG <>
Subject: Re: Is content on hover only a WCAG failure?

On 10/18/2017 6:27 AM, Repsher, Stephen J wrote:
But title doesn't show on focus for mouse users (except on IE/Edge with recent windows) so the text is not available to most keyboard users. However, in this example it is not a problem as the title element is not really providing any content which is useful.
[Steve] Following that logic through to technology independence, that means you feel a custom tooltip using the onmouseover event only is okay in some situations?  Does that not contradict F54?
If it isn't providing a "function" then it would be ok - or if the same "function" were available in another way then yes it would be ok. F54 talks about being the only means to invoke the scripting function. If the scripting function is to display some information then so long as there is another way to display this information this would be ok.

If I had provided a useful title in this example then it would be a failure except if I could get to that information easily in another way. So again - if content only appears on hover - it is not always a failure. It is not a failure if that information is either useless or easily available in another way for keyboard users.
[Steve] But if I follow the letter of the law in 2.1.1, there is no such exception.  It seems we must decide either the display of hover content is part of the functionality or it isn’t.  If you argue it isn’t then I suppose the question falls to 1.3.1, but again there’s no exception for useless or repetitive information.
2.1.1 talks about functionality of the content where functionality is "processes<> and outcomes achievable through user action" and processes are "

series of user actions where each action is required in order to complete an activity

Example 1: Successful use of a series of Web pages on a shopping site requires users to view alternative products, prices and offers, select products, submit an order, provide shipping information and provide payment information.

Example 2: An account registration page requires successful completion of a Turing test before the registration form can be accessed."

If the content provided by hover is provided in another way then the processes and the outcomes are achievable through user action.



Regards, James

James Nurthen | Principal Engineer, Accessibility
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Received on Wednesday, 18 October 2017 17:13:57 UTC