[whatwg] [HTML5] Accessibility question

Nicholas C. Zakas html at nczonline.net
Mon Mar 31 19:31:49 PDT 2008

So given all of this, is it reasonable to expect HTML 5 to provide something for this use case? Perhaps my suggestions of @noview introduces incorrect semantics, perhaps something along the lines of @important to indicate content is important regardless of style (and so screen readers should not ignore it)?


----- Original Message ----
From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen at iki.fi>
To: Nicholas C.Zakas <html at nczonline.net>
Cc: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis at googlemail.com>; whatwg List <whatwg at whatwg.org>; Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch>
Sent: Monday, March 31, 2008 3:46:46 AM
Subject: Re: [whatwg] [HTML5] Accessibility question

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

You rock. That's why Blockbuster's offering you one month of Blockbuster Total Access, No Cost.  
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