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RE: when acronyms mean nothing


From: Steffi Rausch
Date: Jun 28, 2002 7:47AM

The acronym/abbreviation tags don't seem to work anyway in the screen
readers. I checked with Windows-Eyes, IBM HPR, and Connect Outloud which is
a scaled down version of JAWS. I put up a test page at
http://halcyonwebdesign.com/acronym.htm with the following code. The
span-style is the only thing that works but of course does not tell you what
it stands for. And the acronym and abbr tags don't work and don't even spell
out the word. Instead you hear "see" instead of "SCEA".

<p>Welcome to the <abbr title="Secondary Cumulative Effects
training web site.</p>
<p>Welcome to the <acronym title="Secondary Cumulative Effects
training web site.</p>
<span style="speak:spell-out">CNBC</span>

The W3C says: "4.2 - Specify the expansion of each abbreviation or acronym
in a document where it first occurs. [Priority 3]" Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines 1.0 <http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/>; W3C Recommendation
Access Note: in the near future, browsers will let you choose to have the
abbreviations and acronyms expanded automatically. Or, provide the expansion
(especially of the first occurrence) in the main body of the document (i.e.
the way you would if you were not using HTML).

Does anyone see it working on their screen readers? Connect Outloud told me
that it has to be put in their dictionary to work, but I said that acronym
is an html tag that should be able to tell the screen reader to pronounce
the full title and it is what the W3C recommended for accessibility so they
should implement it. But oh well. Does anyone else feel the same way? Any
input from disabled persons would be greatly appreciated whether they feel
it is a real need or not. So in answer to TjL's question, I guess acronyms
really don't have any meaning as they won't work.

>I was working on a page <http://www.tntluoma.com/fun/fwd/ceonistas/>; which
>references CNBC. I went to mark it up with an <acronym> tag and suddenly
>something occurred to me...
><q>Huh.... I wonder what CNBC stands for?</q>
>So I went hunting, and found this page:
>Q: What does CNBC stand for?
>A: CNBC, per se, is not an acronym for anything. In the beginning when the
> dedicated channel was launched, it stood for Consumer News
> Business Channel, but this is no longer in use. We are simply
> CNBC, a service of NBC and Dow Jones.
>So how does one mark up an acronym that doesn't have any meaning?

Steffi Rausch
RESI, Jr. Web Developer

"Design is intelligence made visible." - Rick Eiber

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