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Re: WCAG2 and text styling


From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Jul 28, 2011 11:15AM

28.07.2011 19:42, Rick Hill 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?

Guideline 1.3.1 says: "Information, structure, and relationships
conveyed through presentation can be programmatically determined or are
available in text." In its abstractness, it is relatively useless, and
taken at face value, it requires markup that just doesn't exist in HTML.

And on the other hand, it does not in any way prohibit the use of markup
for presentational purposes. It doesn't even discuss such issues. The
message from TotalValidator seems to be based on different thinking, but
that's their view, not part of WCAG rules.

To make things more complex, the HTML5 drafts (which seem to become the
de facto HTML standard, more or less) redefines <b>, <i>, and <u> as
semantic markup (a bad move if you ask me) as well as the meanings of
<em> and <strong>.

In any case, this is nitpicking at most, as long as you are using proper
heading markup. Within text, using <b> or <i> versus some "semantic"
markup isn't a big issue. Using <u>, or any underlining of texts other
than links, _is_ an issue, but this does not depend on the methods used
for underlining.

Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/