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RE: Accessibility Observations


From: Paul Bohman
Date: Feb 26, 2002 3:52PM

With CSS layout, you have total control over the reading order (or at
least you have the potential for total control). Take a look at these
two test pages:


Both of them have exactly the same layout, but the "boxes" (which are
div tags with positioning style elements) are read in a different order,
depending on the order in which they show up in the source code. Screen
readers ignore the visual layout of this type of CSS positioning. They
go entirely by the order of the text in the source code.

Note: I did this the quick and easy way, using Dreamweaver "layers".
There are other, more sophisticated methods, but the idea is the same.

Paul Bohman
Technology Coordinator
WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)
Center for Persons with Disabilities
Utah State University

-----Original Message-----
From: Raleigh Way [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2002 3:43 PM
Subject: Re: Accessibility Observations

Hi Peter,

You have hit on something I don't know the answer to. I know what to
expect if I design a Web page with columns much like a news paper.
The newer screen readers are capable of reading down each column as
intended. If I use CSS to create a visual layout of "boxed" text,
how does a screen reader handle that? Let me explain a little
further. If I use tables for layout, and I create, say 3 columns of
text on the page, I know that newer SRs (screen readers) can navigate
into and down each column. If I create the same visual layout, i.e.,
"columns" using CSS, do the new screen readers treat the CSS boxes
the same? I haven't tested this yet.

Thanks for your input,


> > The answer I keep coming back to is
>> linearity. I've surfed a lot of sites designed for people with
>> disabilities, e.g., schools for the blind, and the one thing that I
>> notice is that the sites are linear. By linear design, I mean
>> left-to-right layout of text to accommodate older screen readers.
>You do realise you can use CSS to have linear design for screen readers

>and all the boxes you like for visual browsers right? Peter
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