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Re: An Accessible method of hiding HTML content


From: Derek Featherstone
Date: Jun 5, 2004 8:35PM


I think I might need to reframe my last questions to you, as I think my
questions weren't clear enough. You answered questions I didn't really ask!!

Let me try again. You wrote in your message that a reader of your article
pointed out that "that using background images for necessary text (such as
headings) using the technique I describe in the article is accessible to
screen reader users, but not necessarily to all users with low vision." You
continued to write that this was because:

"Some users with low vision change the background colors without overriding
the entire style sheet.
If they override the entire style sheet, then there is no problem, because
the text will display properly, in the correct location. However, if they
turn off only the background styles, then the text remains hidden and the
background image also disappears. This creates an instance of a missing

If a user is turning off only the background styles, but not changing the
foreground styles, or completely overriding the stylesheet, isn't it the
user that is causing the problem? Why are they turning off only the
background styles??

This is where I drew the parallel to what I teach developers to do -- ALWAYS
ensure whenever they change a style, they change both the foreground and the
background. Why can't we expect users that are overriding background styles
(as you described in your paragraph) to also override the foreground as

If they are changing backgrounds and not foregrounds, are they doing so
because the technology they are using doesn't let them? Or are they doing so
because they don't know how?

I don't understand the point that the reader was trying to make. If a user
overrides only part of a stylesheet to change just background but not
foreground, they need to make some adjustments in their techniques. And
anyone that is teaching people how to override styles like this owes it to
the person they are teaching to teach them to override both foreground and
backgrounds together rather than just backgrounds.

Does that make more sense, Paul? I really want to know why they are only
overriding background styles. Looking forward to your response...

Best regards,
Derek Featherstone <EMAIL REMOVED>
phone: 613.599.9784; toll-free: 1.866.932.4878 (North America)
Web Accessibility Specialist / Co-founder of WATS.ca
Web Accessibility Testing and Services http://www.wats.ca