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Joe Clark <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Joe Clark <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 20 Jun 2000 22:06:23 -0500
text/plain (81 lines)
>Has anyone found a good site or book on techniques of accessible web site

Crystal Waters' _Universal Web Design_, 450 pages (April 1997), New
Riders Publishing; ISBN: 1562057383. Skips over very serious issues,
like training people *how* to caption multimedia, preferring to
describe the technical details involved. (As I will be explaining on
my NUblog <>, everyone's
long-suffering attempts to devise systems for closed-captioning,
-description, -subtitling, and -dubbing for the Web are now moot. But
I won't spoil the surprise.)

>For instance, something with samples of the font sizing options &
>bugs and how to use DIV tags instead of Tables for layout.  I have seen the
>W3C doc, Techniques for Web Content Accessibility at
>, but it doesn't offer much in
>the way of sample code & results.

I am not sure any screen readers in the year 2000 are all that
confused by tables for layout, but I do not *know* this.

You realize that if your site is comprehensible in Lynx it will be
mostly comprehensible in any screen reader, right?

Anyway, {sigh}. I have been meaning to write a set of real-world
tutorials for real-world Web authors on Web accessibility. How to
write an ALT. How to write a LONGDESC. Using TITLEs for everything.
The diabolical HTML 4.0 TABLE attributes, like COLGROUP. Isn't done
yet. Isn't even *begun* yet.

(In fact, I seem to be the only Web author not working for an
accessibility department at a university or somewhere else
professionally involved in the Cause who actually uses accessibility
features in day-to-day work. I still see graphics without ALTs every
day of the year, though that is a trivial example. Do you know anyone
else who puts an ALT *and* a TITLE on every graphic, writes long
descriptions for most of them, and even puts TITLEs on table rows? I
mean, no one does this stuff. But *everyone* knows how to write
Javascript. And Flash.)

>From:    Anna Carts <[log in to unmask]>
>  If I'm understanding
>this corectly, the information you provide seems to contradict information
>given by the National Federation for the Blind, which says that carriage
>returns do not separate links, but that "blank characters" do.
>Can anyone provide a definitive answer? And is a keyboard space in the HTML
>file considered a "blank character", or does one need to use "&nbsp;"?
>  >From the Penn State site:
>3. Make the clickable text obvious. Separate links with text or a graphic.
>Place a line break between multiple links that appear next to one another.
>If items are not separated, some access technology might recognize them as
>a single link.
>For example:
>Home  Contact Us
>A screen reader would be read this as one item "Home Contact Us."

It's bad form to provide a series of links with no intervening
characters. (You can do fun HTML effects in a Weblog with run-on
links, but we're not talking about that.)

Even over at, where one of their text menubars seems to use
two spaces between entries, they're actually using two periods set in
the same foreground colour as background. And besides, isn't this why
God gave us the | character?


    Joe Clark | [log in to unmask] content origination, distribution, and management
       Taste | Acumen | Content
    (Read the nublog: <>)