WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: Hiding Legends


From: Jared Smith
Date: Oct 16, 2008 12:00PM

On Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 10:58 AM, Dean Hamack < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> On 10/16/08 12:30 AM, "Korpela Jukka" < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
>> Looks like styling of forms in CSS. Nothing specifically
>> accessibility-related, and I didn't find anything about hiding legends. I
>> admit I did not read that carefully, since I think I know CSS pretty well
>> (and I would first consult my own book on CSS if I needed to recollect
>> things...).
> Obviously you didn't read it very carefully since the very first heading in
> the article is: "Accessible Form Markup"

First of all, let's tone down the rhetoric and personal attacks. They
have no place here and will not be tolerated.

Jukka and the rest of us are simply pointing out that this article
does not advocate or even suggest hiding legends. Yes, it's about
accessibility of forms, but you seem to be making a connection between
this article and your incessant desire to hide the legend. We just
don't see that connection and can't understand why you keep
referencing it in this context.

>> That's nothing usual. It might be popular among some fraction of misguided
>> accessibility enthusiasts.
> A fraction of misguided enthusiasts? That article was written by the very
> same people who host this list! And the reason that technique was suggested
> instead of the other techniques is that it's the only one that works across
> all screenreaders.
>> Of course it's "not accessible", but that's because the very idea of
>> hiding legends isn't.
> Wow, you really don't bother to read anything before responding, do you?

Please reread the WebAIM article. You'll see we point out that
implementing this approach of hiding content is not to be taken
lightly. There are a few instances where it might be used, but those
cases are few and far between. We're simply saying that in this case,
it is probably not a good use of hidden text.

> I gave a perfectly valid example of why you would want to hide a legend from
> a sighted person, but not a screenreader.

Have you? I've yet to see one. If you want to use image replacement
because you are a purist and adamant that all images except for
content conveying photos belong in CSS, that's fine. But don't claim
that hiding the legend from visual users is an accessibility
enhancement. An image with alt text would be better in this case.

I'm still waiting to see exactly what you are trying to accomplish.
Until then, we can only go off of what you've said - and that is 1)
That hiding legends from sighted users but forcing it upon screen
reader users is OK, and 2) that it is better to do image replacement
for an image legend rather than simply adding alt text to it. I
disagree with both of these points.

Jared Smith