[whatwg] [HTML5] Accessibility question

Henri Sivonen hsivonen at iki.fi
Mon Mar 31 03:46:46 PDT 2008

On Mar 31, 2008, at 08:10, Nicholas C. Zakas wrote:
> @irrelevant is virtually indistinguishable from setting content to  
> display: none. My point in bringing up accessibility with a possible  
> attribute or element is to figure out where the lines between HTML  
> and CSS are, as it appears HTML 5 has muddied the water. As I stated  
> earlier on this list, if something is truly "irrelevant", then it's  
> not included in the page. Something that's on the page and hidden is  
> relevant, just perhaps not at the current time, which led to the  
> suggestion on this list to rename the attribute "ignore".

I agree that the semantic fig leaf is confusing. It means  
"hidden" (from all interaction modes).

> I understand your point about superfluity being defined by the  
> presentation (one could argue the same about relevance...). Aural  
> CSS seemed, at one point, like it would make sense for handling such  
> issues. However, since screen readers read the "screen" media  
> styles, it doesn't really help.

More to the point, it is unreasonable to expect casual authors to  
supply sensible aural CSS even if it were supported.

> I still feel like it's a good idea to have an optional attribute on  
> each element that indicates the element's content should not be  
> ignored by screen readers regardless of the style applied. Perhaps  
> this could be better handled by an ARIA role...

As currently drafted, ARIA has aria-hidden, which is essentially a  
less elegant duplicate of HTML5 'irrelevant'. As far as I can tell,  
ARIA doesn't specify aria-hidden=false as overriding display: none; in  
accessibility API exposure. (But then in general, ARIA doesn't specify  
processing requirements in the way we expect from HTML5.)

Henri Sivonen
hsivonen at iki.fi

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