RE: Is content on hover only a WCAG failure?

I agree with James – the WCAG conformance requirements indicate that alternative content can be used on the same or different page to make the page conformant as long as it does not interfere.  This is a core principle of WCAG – so it is a little alarming that this coming up in 2017.

Sometimes, supplemental information may be available from another page for information on a page. The longdesc attribute in HTML is an example. With longdesc, a long description of a graphic might be on a separate page that the user can jump to from the page with the graphic. This makes it clear that such content is considered part of the Web page, so that requirement #2 is satisfied for the combined set of Web pages considered as a single Web page. Alternatives can also be provided on the same page. For example creating an equivalent to a user interface control. (


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From: James Nurthen []
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 12:43 PM
To: Repsher, Stephen J; John Foliot
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

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Received on Wednesday, 18 October 2017 17:14:42 UTC