RE: WCAG compliance question

This speaks to the need to separate content from presentation. ( But also to the importance of going beyond pure conformance.

However, without knowing what content has been hidden or presented differently, it is hard to verify it's level of accessibility. In comparison, an image is not deemed accessible just because it has an ALT defined. It is the content within the ALT that is important. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Richard (Userite) [] 
Sent: February 26, 2016 7:26 AM
Subject: Re: WCAG compliance question

Yes the site needs to be accessible with CSS enabled AND with it disabled.

Developers can use CSS to "hide" messages that are aimed at people who use screen readers. For example most pages have a top navigation bar which requires a heading so that blind users can find it easily. However to stop the heading actually showing up on the page for sighted users CSS has been used such as, for example,  either {display:none;} or {position:left, -1999px;}

It is not that visual users are getting less than blind users, just that additional help is provided for screen readers.

The fact that your Jaws does not pick up this hidden text suggests that the CSS has been written incorrectly.



-----Original Message-----
From: Chaals McCathie Nevile
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2016 11:23 AM
Subject: Re: WCAG compliance question

Hi Ginger,

as I read WCAG 2.0 it allows conformance claims to rely on particular technology - See point 5 at

So you can say that the site is conformant, Relying Upon CSS.

Conformance is not the most important question, however, in my opinion.
That question is "does the site have accessibility barriers"? Which comes down to a few questions:
- do users turn off CSS in ie 11 (e.g. to simplify the layout or colour scheme, or ensure that their own style sheet works?)
- what about other user agents?


On Fri, 26 Feb 2016 11:14:00 +0100, Ginger Claassen <> wrote:

> Hello everybody,
> I have a WCAG compliance question. I am checking a website for a  
> customer and if I am opening the site in internet explorer 11 with css  
> enabled I can use the site more or less. however, if I disable css  suddenly there
> are a lot of things I have not seen with jfw or nvda   before. Thus, is it 
> wcag compliant to do this or has a site to be  accessibel even with 
> css enabled?
> thanks in advance for your assistance!
> Solong
>      Ginger

Charles McCathie Nevile - web standards - CTO Office, Yandex - - - Find more at 

Received on Friday, 26 February 2016 14:25:26 UTC