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ins and del


From: Moore, Michael
Date: Sep 19, 2008 3:00PM

We want to identify an accessible method for indicating insertions and
deletions within legal documents and policy documents that are
undergoing revision. These documents are published in html.

The <ins> and <del> elements provide semantic support but JAWS ignores
them. We have looked at the following two methods.

1. Add a 1 pixel clear gif prior to and after the deleted or inserted
text with alt text indicating the status of the text. Position the
graphic off screen to prevent the browser from displaying a placeholder
or the alt text if the graphic fails to load or is blocked. For the
deletion example JAWS will now say "graphic begin deletion Here is some
deleted text" graphic end deletion."

It is a bit clumsy needing to listen to JAWS announce the graphics
although users can turn that off but has the advantage that it will not
affect the visual display unless both CSS and graphics are disabled.

2. Wrap the text indicating the beginning and the end of the insertion
or deletion with a span inside of a span and position the span off
screen using CSS.

JAWS reads smoother now without the announcement of "graphic" but there
is a risk that if CSS is disabled all users will see the text.

My question is which method seems best, or is there another method that
I have not thought of?


Mike Moore
DARS Accessibility Specialist
(512) 424-4159