WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: Hiding Legends


From: Jared Smith
Date: Oct 15, 2008 4:00PM

On Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 3:24 PM, Dean Hamack < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
>> Why do you want to hide it, and how is this an accessibility issue? (Hiding
>> the legend does not sound to _improve_ accessibility.)
> Because legends generally aren't necessary for sighted people. They are
> necessary for blind people when there are multiple fields with similar
> labels.

I'm going to try and sneak in a word here before Jukka goes to town on you. :-)

Could you describe the example you are working on. As I noted before,
if the grouped form elements make sense without a visual legend, then
why provide that legend to screen reader users? And on the flipside,
if the legend is necessary for accessibility, why are you not
displaying it? If you are merely trying to add a border to elements to
provide a visual grouping, use border, not fieldset/legend.

The legend is read for EVERY form element within that fieldset. This
means that they really should only be used when a clear grouping is
present AND when the grouping requires a distinct header to
differentiate that grouping of elements from others. They should
really be used with care.

> Read this article:
> http://www.sitepoint.com/article/fancy-form-design-css/

There's nothing in that article that indicates that legend is
unnecessary for visual users. In fact, it says just the opposite.

> Guess you're new around here. That's the way we hide elements for
> accessibility:
> http://webaim.org/techniques/css/invisiblecontent/

LOL. Jukka was around before most of us even heard about
accessibility. In fact, I think he was one of the first dozen or so
subscribers to this list - sometime in 2000 or early 2001.

>> But if you really want to hide legend elements, why don't you use just
>> legend { display: none; }
> Because that's not accessible. See the above article.

I think his point is the same one I am making - if it's unnecessary,
then why force it on screen reader users?

Jared Smith