WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

User Test Cases for HTML 5

A lot of controversy has surround the HTML 5 working group and how their proposed changes will affect accessibility. With draft proposals for changing the markup for table headers to making the alt attribute optional and removing longdesc, there have been many people complaining that accessibility is not a high priority for some on the working group. While many of us have complained or argued our viewpoints, Joshue O Connor of CFIT has taken this much further by producing a series of videos to document existing accessibility features and how the proposed changes might affect screen reader users.

The screen capture videos show Stuart Lawler, a power screen reader user, interacting with data tables and complex images that utilize various accessibility techniques. These videos are very useful to anyone interested in learning how screen readers work with existing accessibility features and they hopefully will provide insight to the HTML 5 working group in making decisions to modify or remove HTML attributes that support accessibility. All videos are in Windows Media format (captions will be provided in the near future).

  1. Basic Table Navigation [20.5 MB]
  2. Tester observes peculiarity of how some numeric content in tables is outputted [9.5 MB]
  3. More table exploration [10.2 MB]
  4. Discussion on the importance of semantic markup [8.1 MB]
  5. Use of id/headers and axis. Discussion of summary attribute. [9.6 MB]
  6. Header/id test [4.3 MB]
  7. Use of the longdesc attribute [29.5 MB]
  8. Using the D link, title attribute, using Lynx, future implementations of @longdesc, DOM Insertion and the virtual buffer, and how others are benefited by accessibility features. [15.2 MB]
  9. Use of longdesc attribute for explaining complex images [3.3 MB]
  10. Use of longdesc in a French web page [3.9MB]
  11. Additional longdesc examples [5.7MB]
  12. Summary: Use of virtualisation features of JAWS, how summary attribute is used, tables in the wild, using JAWS scripts to annotate content, authors and the summary attribute, usefulness of summary, and other features of accessible tables. [61.4 MB]

Also regarding screen readers and HTML 5, be sure to check out Ian Hickson’s post regarding screen reader deficiencies (skip the fluff and jump to the middle of the post, or to sum things up – screen readers are complex and difficult to use, especially so if you rely on your vision and don’t understand how they work) and Mike Davies’ response.


  1. siddu

    links are not active man !

  2. Jared Smith

    I have updated the links to point to the new location of the videos.

  3. JV

    Could you share more details about “Test case for HTML”?