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Re: The title attribute and screen readers

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From: Léonie Watson
Date: Jun 25, 2007 8:50AM


Paul Collins wrote:

"I was always under the impression that the title attribute would not be read out by default using the bulk of screen readers and therefore it should not be used to convey vital information like a popup window about to occur."

This is certainly the case with Jaws. It is possible to configure it to pick up the title attribute in a link, but it is not done by default. I believe it's the same in Window Eyes, but my version's up the spout at the moment, so I can't check.

Regards,
Léonie.

-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Paul Collins
Sent: 25 June 2007 15:00
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: [WebAIM] The title attribute and screen readers

Hi all,

After reading the WCAG1 errata by the WCAG Samurai recently, I came across this one which got my curiosity:

QUOTE
"Do not cause pop-ups or other windows to appear and do not change the current window without informing the user. (Plain text is the preferred method of informing the user. The title attribute on a hyperlink a element can suffice.)"
END QUOTE

I was always under the impression that the title attribute would not be read out by default using the bulk of screen readers and therefore it should not be used to convey vital information like a popup window about to occur.

I've been doing some reading and this still seems to be the case, but perhaps I am not looking at up-to date articles either? Can anyone give me their thoughts on the title attribute and how they are using it currently?

ZOOM TEXT
In the past, when using image replacement on titles, I had added the title attribute displaying the same as the graphic, so people using Zoom Text could at least enlarge this. However, if titles were now to be read out with screen reading software, this would become really annoying as it would be read out twice. EG:

<h1 class="replace" title="This is a heading"><em></em>This is a heading</h1>

Am I going the down the appropriate path by still doing this?

Cheers
Paul