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Re: WCAG2 and text styling

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From: Jared Smith
Date: Jul 28, 2011 11:06AM


On Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 10:42 AM, Rick Hill < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> I use TotalValidtor as one of my Web diagnostic tools. One accessibility error it reports is the use of <b> and <i> and <u>:
>
> [WCAG v2 1.3.1 (A)] Use CSS for presentation effects, use <em> or <strong> for emphasis
>
> Agree this is a violation of the WCAG 2 guidelines?

It certainly is not a failure to use <b>, <i>, or <u> instead of CSS
for presentational effects. These markup elements are no more or less
presentational than CSS is. There is no impact on accessibility here.

Often <b>, <i>, or <u> are used to present semantic (e.g., important)
information. This would not be correct usage. However, there is no
WCAG 2.0 failure defined for this case, though it is recommended to
use <strong> and <em> instead of <b> and <i> where appropriate. I
don't believe that failing to do this is a WCAG failure, especially
when you consider that no screen reader I am aware of treats this
markup appropriately - either they ignore them altogether or treat
<b>/<strong> and <i>/<em> exactly the same.

Jared Smith
WebAIM