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Re: The title attribute and screen readers


From: Spellman, Jeanne
Date: Jun 27, 2007 11:30AM

"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.)"

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?

You are correct. The title attribute of a link is not read, unless the
user sets an option in JAWS to read the title instead of the link text.
Since most people want to hear the link text, this is not an option that
is often set. In the user tests we have done, no JAWS user has had this
option set to read title text.

I was unimpressed with the Samurai errata. A quick read turned up
enough misinformation (the title attributes error you noted, the
assumption that layout tables are inaccessible) that I could not take it
seriously, and I found the self-righteous tone condescending and
unprofessional. The Samurai don't appear to have tested their theories
with an actual screen reader, let alone test with real users with
disabilities. They appear to be web standards fundamentalists using
accessibility to add legitimacy.

The WCAG process may be flawed, but it is better than this.