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Re: Bold Italics


From: John E Brandt
Date: Sep 26, 2012 1:39PM

Two more cents...

I remember this being discussed here in the last year or so when "the new
HTML5" standards included all of the attributes <i><b><em> and <strong>. I
wrote a blog about it and how the whole thing was very confusing. In that
blog I noted, " ...I can even remember a time when there was serious talk
that these tags would eventually be used by screen reader software (and all
text to speech applications) in a way that would actually "express" the
emphasis in the aural output. But that technological advancement has not
happened (yet)." (My blog entry
http://jebswebs.net/blog/2011/06/html5-i-b-em-strong-whats-the-scoop/ )

In my readings at the time I noticed that there were passionate debates both
ways as to whether these "typographical features" had any semantic
qualities. I won't go there now.

Judging from the comments here and the article provided by Karen, I think
that not a whole lot has changed so that it is safe to assume the bolds and
italics are generally ignored by AT. So, I agree with Sarah on this.

For accessibility purposed it would be more important to ensure the digital
document in question was using appropriate headings which is probably the
number one weakness of most digital documents.


John E. Brandt
Augusta, Maine, USA

-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Bourne, Sarah
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 10:45 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Bold Italics

For as long as I've known, JAWS does not make any differentiation for bold
or italics text by default, at least on web pages. Perhaps Word is
different? I did a little poking around on the Freedom Scientific website,
and found a handy (not!) 20 step process for customizing the speech sounds
schemes so it will speak bold in a deeper voice. Has anybody on this list
done this, or know of someone who has?

I agree with Chris that the key question is "why" it has to be bold and
italic for sighted users. If it's because it's in another language or
included in a glossary or has some other necessary semantic value, you will
need to find a way of presenting that value other than use of italics and/or
bold alone. Otherwise - in practical terms - it doesn't matter to a screen
reader user.

Sarah E. Bourne
Director of Assistive Technology &
Mass.Gov Chief Technology Strategist
Information Technology Division
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
1 Ashburton Pl. rm 1601 Boston MA 02108

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