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Re: ordinal numbers


From: Moore, Michael
Date: Apr 30, 2008 1:30PM

Peter Weil
Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2008 2:06 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: [WebAIM] ordinal numbers

I'm wondering how screen readers handle ordinal numbers that are not
spelled out; e.g.,

107th Congress
323rd Fighter Wing
59th Street

Are screen readers smart enough to recognize these as ordinals and
pronounce them as such?


I just tested with JAWS 6 and JAWS 9 and there was no problem with JAWS
handling these numbers. The problems that I see with numbers and
pronunciation by JAWS and WindowEyes more often are with roman numerals
for instance the number 6, VI is pronounced by the screen reader as
"vye" and what is even more confusing is that VI is also an acronym for
visually impaired.

The use of the abbreviation tag for either ordinal numbers or roman
numerals would be totally inappropriate, however you could use the
acronym element for VI when using that character combination to
represent the term visually impaired.

In my opinion far too much emphasis is placed upon the way that screen
readers pronounce things. This is at most a minor "accessibility" issue
for most users of screen reader technologies. If I am confused by the
way that my screen reader pronounces something I have the option of
having the screen reader spell it to me, or I can manually move through
it one character at a time. However when electronic documents lack
heading structure, forms are missing labels or the reading order is out
of synch these are major barriers to access, that are much more
cumbersome to attempt to overcome.