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"Disabled" vs. "Read-only"


From: Cliff Tyllick
Date: Jan 4, 2008 1:30PM

Our developers have informed me of a problem with the forms in one of our Web applications. We have designated fields as disabled, because the user cannot edit them and we do not want the tab to stop in them. But, in IE, the text in these fields shows up in such a light shade of gray that the color contrast ratio fails miserably---as low as 1.5:1 for portions of plain text; no better than 2.4:1 for bold text. Low-vision users, including at least one person at our agency with normal vision but a bright office, have trouble even seeing the text.

I'm told we could fix the contrast problem by making the fields read-only---but then they would look and, with respect to tab order, act just like editable fields. So then users would be misled about their function.

Anyone else dealt with this tightrope? Any successes?