WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Importance of some semantic inline HTML elements?


From: Silas
Date: Oct 21, 2021 11:28AM


I've been more and more worried about accessibility (specially the screen reading part of the thing), although I don't have any accessibility needs at the moment.

I'm also a user of some simple markup languages like Markdown, reStructuredText and others. Since none (?) of them take accessibility issues seriously, I started to devise my own Markdown-like language that can output some important HTML 5 tags for screen readers. I would like, though, to keep the language simple enough by not implementing all HTML 5 tags and I would like to know if I can leave some things out (specially nested tags).

Some examples:

Definition lists:

See the "<code></code>" tag? Is it at all necessary inside a <dt></dt> tag?

Also, is there any difference between <strong> and <em> (for the screenreader) at all?

How important it is to mark different language content with <span="xx">term</span>?

Please, realize that all my questions are about inline elements.

I ask this because I've been making some tests with NVDA for Windows and TalkBack for Android and I see no difference if I use these tags or not. It seems much more important to use tags that makes difference for user navigation, like correctly using headers (<h1>, <h2>, ...) for titles, links descriptions, bullet or definition lists, etc. Also, aria-hidden="true" attribute seems really important for ASCII diagrams in <pre></pre> blocks.

Thank you very much.