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Re: The title attribute and screen readers


From: Wayne Dick
Date: Jun 25, 2007 12:00PM

I think there is a conflict of need
that cannot be satisfied with web
content. The fact is, title
information can be useful to people
with partial sight. The Title
tool-tip pop-up in Firefox is helpful
for focused items.

Web content isn't the place to control
this. Browsers and assistive
technologies need to give more choice
to users. This is a user agent

The CSU System web developers
discussed this a lot last year. There
really isn't a good answer. As a
partially sighted user, I could live
without titles, but I wouldn't like
it. My ADD friends don't like them.
I find them only mildly annoying when
I listen to text, but I'm not totally
dependent on listening. That could
make the redundancy ugly. So there is
a problem. I think you need to think
about which group of disabled users
will hurt less, but I wouldn't abandon
good HTML coding practice to satisfy
one group while I hurt another.

We should use Titles as the HTML
semantics prescribe. Screen Readers
and reading enhancement technologies
need to render good code in a way that
helps their user base. I think that
one is the real problem.

Wayne Dick PhD
Chair Computer Engineering and
Computer Science, CSU, Long Beach
Coordinator of Academic Technology
Accessibility, CSU System