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RE: Using aria-labelledby instead of <label> element

From: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2012 12:33:51 -0400
Message-ID: <99c1012852c5e168c8055e12875c989d@mail.gmail.com>
To: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
> 1. Know what the thing is about - that's just giving information, and a
> title does as well as a label 2. Be able to activate something bigger than
> a tiny button, like the label. If the label is hidden, there isn't much
> value added here...

While I agree title attributes are best here -- there are two common issues
that can arise:

1. They appear when the user moves the mouse over the edit field.  When
titles are long this can be annoying for some users.  I agree it's also
beneficial.  I've seen some company like SAP go the extent of only applying
title attributes to form fields when the keyboard is used.  This is a mess
for screen readers as the title seems to appear on the field after it's
focused and thus the screen reader can't pick up the title because it's too
2. When title attributes are used for good reason when labels also appear on
screen it can cause users of screen readers to hear the visual label and
title attributes when reviewing the page with the virtual cursor.  Thus,
there is duplication of information.


-----Original Message-----
From: Charles McCathieNevile [mailto:chaals@opera.com]
Sent: Friday, March 23, 2012 11:32 AM
To: 'Michael Gower'; 'Steve Faulkner'; Roger Hudson
Cc: 'Ramón Corominas'; 'WAI Interest Group'; 'Diane V Margaretos'; 'David
Subject: Re: Using aria-labelledby instead of <label> element

On Thu, 22 Mar 2012 20:59:16 +0100, Roger Hudson <rhudson@usability.com.au>

> For form inputs inside a data table (e.g. for indicating number of
> items to be ordered), I have used the input title attribute rather
> than a hidden explicitly associated label to indicate the purpose of the
> input.

Makes sense. The point of a label is
1. Know what the thing is about - that's just giving information, and a
title does as well as a label 2. Be able to activate something bigger than a
tiny button, like the label. If the label is hidden, there isn't much value
added here...

> This seems to work fine with an accessibly marked up data table...


> Roger
> From: Michael Gower [mailto:michael.gower@ca.ibm.com]
> Sent: Friday, 23 March 2012 4:10 AM
> To: Steve Faulkner
> Cc: Ramón Corominas; WAI Interest Group; Diane V Margaretos; David
> Best
> Subject: Re: Using aria-labelledby instead of <label> element
> We have recently used both techniques to give remediation advice to a
> client with something very similar where radio buttons were located in
> each cell.
> Both aria-labelledby and the use of title appear to function fine with
> keyboard and screen reader. We recommended using the aria technique
> unless backward compatibility was an issue. One point of consideration
> is whether your "data table" is really a data table in this context,
> or if it is actually a presentation table that is using the col and
> row headers as labels. That may seem like a fine distinction, but
> housing inputs in a data table can potentially affect the behaviour of
> some assistive technologies.
> Michael Gower
> i b m  i n t e r a c t i v e
> 1803 Douglas Street
> Victoria, BC  V8T 5C3
> --
> Michael.Gower@ca.ibm.com
> voice: (250) 220-1146
> cel:     (250) 661-0098
> sms:    2506610098@txt.bellmobility.ca
> fax:     (250) 220-8034
> From:        Steve Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
> To:        Ramón Corominas <listas@ramoncorominas.com>
> Cc:        WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
> Date:        03/22/2012 09:47 AM
> Subject:        Re: Using aria-labelledby instead of <label> element
>   _____
> Another possibility is to use the title attribute on the inputs to
> provide the label.
> for example:
> http://www.paciellogroup.com/presentations/CSUN08/webapps/#slide24
> regards
> Stevef
> On 22 March 2012 11:22, Ramón Corominas <listas@ramoncorominas.com>
> wrote:
> Hi all,
> We are developing a tool to manage different fields related to many
> records in a dataset. The information is presented as a data table to
> show and edit the values of each record, so the column headers act as
> labels for each field, and row headers identify each record. For
> example, imagine that you have a chess shop:
> Columns: Piece, color, material, unit price
> Rows: King, Queen, Rook, Knight, Bishop, Pawn
> Thus, we need to construct the "label" for each field combining both
> row and column headers "Queen color", "Knight unit price", etc. We
> have tested aria-labelledby to do this, and it seems to work fine with
> all the screen readers and platforms that we have tested (JAWS & NVDA
> w/ IE & FF, VoiceOver w/ Safari). We have also seen that this
> technique has been submitted to the WCAG WG [1]. However, I cannot
> find it in the Techniques document, so I don't know if there is a
> reason to avoiding it.
> What do you think? Would it be acceptable to use aria-labelledby as
> the only way to label a form control?
> Thanks in advance,
> Ramón.
> [1] Associating multiple labels with a form control using
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-wcag2-techs/2010Aug/0000.ht
> ml

Charles 'chaals' McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg kan litt norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals       Try Opera: http://www.opera.com
Received on Friday, 23 March 2012 16:35:47 UTC

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