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Re: Forms: Explicit associations and Empty controls?

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From: Thomas Jedenfelt
Date: May 24, 2005 6:29AM


Hello Paul,

Thanks for your detailed answer.

I have learnt that WCAG 1.0 Checkpoint 10.2 is always a good coding practice, not just as an 'interim solution' (temporary).

Regards,
Thomas Jedenfelt


>
> Thomas Jedenfelt wrote:
>
> > Today's Web browsers, do they have support for:
> > 1) Explicit associations between labels and form controls?
> > 2) Handle empty controls correctly?
> >
> > If so, I would no longer have to use the interim techniques
> >[1] described in the checkpoints 10.2 and 10.4 of the WCAG 1.0
> >(Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, 05-May-1999).
>
>
> In terms of Web accessibility, Web browser support for explicit
> associations between labels and form controls is less important
> than screen reader support, which does exist. In this sense, the
> "interim" solution of placing text labels adjacent to the form
> control is no longer necessary, *BUT* it is still advisable.
>
> When users do not use the tab key to go from form element to form
> element, they will hear the content of the page read to them in a
> linearized order. If the text label is not adjacent to the form
> control, users may not realize which form control the text label
> applies to, or vice versa.
>
> To put it differently, the explicit association of the label with
> the form control works very well when the user *tabs through* the
> form, even when the label and form element are in completely
> different parts of the page; but such a separation is still a
> problem if the user just *listens to the page straight through*
> without interacting with the form (i.e. tabbing between form
> elements).
>
> So it's still a good idea to place the label adjacent to the form control.
>
> -- Paul Bohman
> Director of Products and Services
> WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)
> www.webaim.org
> Utah State University
> www.usu.edu


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