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RE: <i>, <em> and font-style:italic in HTML 5

From: David Best <davebest@cogeco.ca>
Date: Fri, 4 Oct 2013 17:57:03 -0400
To: 'Ramón Corominas' <listas@ramoncorominas.com>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <003301cec14c$a92d8110$fb888330$@cogeco.ca>
Ramón, yes, you are absolutely correct. What you describe is a user issue and not an accessibility issue. However, it should be noted, that these type set indicators tend to be used more by braille users than the speech users. In any case, the screen reader braille/speech user can control the verbosity of the output, and thus not really an accessibility issue. Over use of text display changes is just bad practice.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ramón Corominas [mailto:listas@ramoncorominas.com] 
Sent: Friday, October 04, 2013 05:15 PM
To: davebest@cogeco.ca
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: <i>, <em> and font-style:italic in HTML 5

Just a clarification... I'm not saying that these features shouldn't be used, what I'm saying is that they must be used properly.

In fact, they are the right way to mark up semantics in HTML documents, but I think it is good to know how most screen readers manage these elements.

Of course, screen reader users can enable different pronunciation for these tags (it is curious that they usually use a lower voice), and this changes can be very important under certain situations.

However, marking a lot of <strong> or <em> can lead to more confusion or interference, instead of conveying valuable information. And this is something that affects everyone, not only screen reader users. If a paragraph has a lot of words marked with <strong>, it is not conveying what is important and what is not.


David wrote:

> For the most part these text display options are not used by screen reader users, but that does not mean these indicators should not be used. Depending upon the screen reader user agent, it is possible to set these options for speech and for braille output. A blind user in a professional environment quite often needs to know, just as the sighted user, the change in text colour and highlighting. In this case the screen reader user will create multiple speech themes, and switch between them as needed. Just because most screen reader users do not depend upon the text display changes, does not mean that it is not used and not needed. Without this ability you are limiting the career development of blind professionals.
Received on Friday, 4 October 2013 21:57:29 UTC

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