[whatwg] Thoughts on HTML 5

html at nczonline.net html at nczonline.net
Thu Feb 28 11:31:08 PST 2008

Screen readers currently ignore elements with styles of display:none and visibility:hidden. In order to hide elements from the screen but allow screen readers to see them, we typically use tricks such as text-indent:-10000 and such.

I would like something to indicate that text should not be rendered by the UA but still remain accessible. Content that should be available to screen readers but not have a visual representation is, in fact, relevant. It's relevant in that it gives additional information to non-sighted users that is probably visually indicated to those who can see.

If accessibility is the point of the "irrelevant" attribute, then it fails.


>html at nczonline.net wrote:
>> Lachlan had commented that "irrelevant" could be changed dynamically to
>> indicate parts of an application that may be relevant only during 
>> points in time. I don't see how this is any different from hiding content
>> that isn't necessary.
>Presumably a non-visual UA could use the irrelevant attribute to distinguish 
>content that was not relevant at the current time from content that was merely 
>being hidden from graphical UAs. I seem to remember (but I am far from being 
>expert) that currently aural browsers ignore display:none content and so 
>best-practice for adding additional text for aural UAs is to use CSS 
>to move it out of the viewport. @irrelevant seems to provide a way to move 
>from this kind of crazy hack.
>"Eternity's a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end?"
>  -- Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

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