RE: Frame Title and Screenreader Access


I find the discussion of frame titles really depressing. It is depressing
because there is not a clear recommendation from WCAG, trying not to be too
prescriptive, I guess. As a result neither web authors nor assistive
technology developers know what to do.

(1) Here's WCAG: 12.1 Title each frame to facilitate frame identification
and navigation. [Priority 1] For example, in HTML use the "title" attribute
on FRAME elements.

(2) Section 508 used the WCAG wording without the example.

Here is my analysis of how well assistive technology is listening to the
these recommendations.

(1) Lynx, which is not assistive technology, really, uses the name
attributes on the frame elements for its list of frames.

(2) HomePage Reader v2.5 used the title attribute on the frame element if it
was present but reverted to the title element of the actual frame page if
there was no title attribute. I know of no other AT that uses/used the title

(3) Jaws uses the name attribute of the frame element for its list of
frames, and announces both the name attribute and the title element as it
reads the frame.

(4) Window-Eyes only uses only the title element. I don't know if
Window-Eyes provides a list of frames.

(5) HPR v3.0 uses the title element of each frame page in its list of
frames; it uses neither the name nor the title attribute. (This is a bug, in
my opinion!)

The only conclusion I can make is to recommend to web authors is provide
both title and name attributes on the frame elements (make them the same)
and quality titles on their frame pages. In other words do all three and
your bases will be covered. Of course the name and title attributes describe
the purpose of the frame, like "main content" or "local navigation."

Accessibility Consulting

-----Original Message-----
From: []On
Behalf Of Laurie Harrison
Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2001 2:49 PM
Subject: Frame Title and Screenreader Access

Perhaps someone on this list can assist with the following access

I have been approached for information regarding use of frame
"title"atttribute in relation to JAWS or Window-Eyes. While WAI
recommends inclusion of "title" it doesn't seem to be picked up in the
list of frames generated by either of these products. This has lead to a
few questions:

Is "title" intended to have this function?
Is the "name" attribute the one that is generally the context identifier
for screenreaders?
Is it a question of verbosity settings in the screenreader?

Thanks in advance for any input.

Laurie Harrison
Resource Coordinator
Centre for Academic and Adaptive Technology, Information Commons
University of Toronto
(416) 946-3778

Received on Saturday, 17 February 2001 20:34:46 UTC