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Re: HTML5 DL Element vs. WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria

From: Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2014 15:51:02 -0500
Message-ID: <CAJi9CqrFr5vFwAE0wu_qdeYR1EMk7Yu7+AJ0QDcYUVpK6j9VLA@mail.gmail.com>
To: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
I suggested this to FS to improve support for DL:
"As one navigates a definition  list using "I", JAWS should perhaps
prefix the  word "Term" before the contents of the DT element.
When a DT has more than one DD elements associated with it, JAWS
should  say "Term with <n> definitions" before the value of the DT
element, where 'n' corresponds to count of associated DD elements."

The response I got:
The definition list issue was discussed with product management and
development, and it was agreed that it is a good idea.
It has been added it to our developer data base as a feature enhancement action.

I have also filed a bug for NVDA and hoping for  a response.

On 2/8/14, Ramón Corominas <listas@ramoncorominas.com> wrote:
> Hi, Steve.
> Maybe you only find "anecdotical assertions" because the usage of
> definition lists is more or less anecdotical, too; or maybe because they
> are generally used for simple things like name-value pairs, that do not
> cause severe barriers.
> Anyway, I'm not saying that they are always problematic, what I'm saying
> is that they are not usable unless in these simple situations, and that
> for those things we could use other structures with better support.
> Users would probably not say that there is a problem in a page without
> headings (nor landmarks), or in a menu without list markup, but they
> will not be able to browse the page so efficiently.
> Similarly, if a definition list contains other lists, it won't be
> navigable in an efficient way, and the relationships between "term" and
> "definition" tend to get lost; and anyway the structure of multiple
> definitions per term is never conveyed to current screen readers, so I
> think they are simply not accessibility supported and do not meet CR #4,
> which I do consider a problem.
> For example, using JAWS I can know that the Glossary of WCAG 2.0
> contains 117 terms -NVDA and VoiceOver say "166 elements"-, but I cannot
> find any efficient way to browse the different terms or even distinguish
> one term from the next unambiguously.
> In any case, I admit there is no data that can backup that definition
> lists are a problem, but I guess that there is also no data that can
> backup the contrary. I guess that there is no data at all about real
> world accessibility/usability of definition lists.
> That said, since the semantics of the original "definition" list has
> changed to something more like a "description" list, it is possible that
> it would be a useful structure if screen readers had support.
> Probably the first step would be to not announce the list as a
> "definition" list... Sure that Michael Cooper is a good editor, but I
> would not say that he is the *definition* of "Editor" <wink>
> Regards,
> Ramón.
> Steve wrote:
>> So far I have only seen anecdotal assertions that definition lists are a
>> problem for screen reader users, if they are problematic it would be
>> useful to have some actual data to back this up.
>>     Would it be possible to know how many of this 10% of pages are using
>>     definition lists *properly*?
>> I am collecting URLs so that those who are interested can do take  a
>> look.
>> --
>> Regards
>> SteveF
>> HTML 5.1 <http://www.w3.org/html/wg/drafts/html/master/>
> --
> Ramón Corominas
> Accessibility specialist
> Technosite - Fundación ONCE
> E: rcorominas@technosite.es
> T: @ramoncorominas
> P: +34 91 121 0330
> W: http://technosite.es
Received on Friday, 14 February 2014 20:51:30 UTC

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