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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist dhtmlhelp's Avatar
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    Enabling and Disabling Audible elements for Jaws

    Hi,

    does anybody know how to tell Jaws, the screen reading software, whether an element in the page should be audible or should be ignored?

    Also, can this be done both in HTML and CSS?

    DH

  2. #2
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    Theoretically applying ACSS would allow the author do similar however, there is near to zero applications that understand ACSS.

    I have JAWS back at home but have not fiddled enough with the settings, yet...

  3. #3
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    hiding elements visually with CSS (via display: none) works...although in theory it shouldn't (it's a JAWS bug).
    yes, aural stylesheets would be the way to go, but they're not supported yet...
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Evangelist dhtmlhelp's Avatar
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    Hey guys, wouldn't display:none just disable the display of an element?

    I was just thinking of telling jaws, this is what is important, only say this (ie only speak this text) and not other text. No jaws: none hey!?

    I have seen a site that seems to tel jaws to read only part of its content! Are you sure it is not possible in an easier way? possibly with css?

    DH

  5. #5
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhtmlhelp
    Hey guys, wouldn't display:none just disable the display of an element?
    yes...but JAWS (through a bug - or feature, you decide - i mentioned before) also omits visually hidden elements from its normal "reading".
    I have seen a site that seems to tel jaws to read only part of its content!
    link ?
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Evangelist dhtmlhelp's Avatar
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    Hi redux,

    http://www.unibo.it/Portale/default.htm?cookie%5Ftest=1

    I have a Q about sitepoint, why are pages always cached?!? it's a nightmare. Also there is no clear log in link.

    DH

  7. #7
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhtmlhelp
    don't have JAWS at home...what parts are you thinking are not read out ?
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I know this is going off the subject a little but I was testing spacer images out with Jaws last night and it wasn't playing ball with me at all.

    I always use alt="" for spacers, I just wondered if you used an asterix, as recommended by RNIB, does it say anything?

  9. #9
    SitePoint Evangelist dhtmlhelp's Avatar
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    It just skips directly to the main content and starts with:

    Nasce UNIBOCULTURA

    which is the main heading in the center td, very clever.

    An *? for alt=''? and it is ignored? Really, RNIB? Can anybody confirm this?

    DH

  10. #10
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhtmlhelp
    It just skips directly to the main content and starts with:

    Nasce UNIBOCULTURA

    which is the main heading in the center td, very clever
    tested with JAWS 4.02...and no, it reads the page starting from the top, then through the navigation, and only then gets to the main heading (by the way...it was quite funny hearing the italian text read out with an american accent).

    the only thing i can see which may cause JAWS to jump straight to the content is the definition of a "vai al contenuto" link with an accesskey="2".

    so, back to the original question: no, you can't define things that display on the page but are not read out by JAWS.
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  11. #11
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daz
    I always use alt="" for spacers, I just wondered if you used an asterix, as recommended by RNIB, does it say anything?
    just tested it, and to confirm: JAWS does not read out alt="*" for images (unless the image is the only element of a link, when it does read out "Link...star" or something).
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  12. #12
    SitePoint Evangelist dhtmlhelp's Avatar
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    Hi redux,

    I think the latest version of jaws is 4.51, maybe one of its new features. In fact, thinking of it, I have applied a skip to content link and it starts reading the text from there!

    <a href='#content' accesskey='2'>

    <something id='content'>

    and it works!

    thanks,

    DH

  13. #13
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    hot damn ! so new version of jaws actively looks for a skip to content link ? i need to investigate this, because it appears that, depending on how web developers implement it, JAWS could actually get it very wrong (e.g. the "content" div is named something completely different, or uses different accesskey)...

    hmm, thanks for the heads-up. i feel so...inadequate...with my 4.02 version
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  14. #14
    SitePoint Evangelist dhtmlhelp's Avatar
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    Hey redux,

    I think my point is inaccurate, my apologies for creating confusion. For some reason the university page was read from the main content, and also my page on adding id='content'. On restarting my computer however that doesn't happen any more, very weird.

    On another note, I am using <li>s for a display: inline; and list-style-type: none; list. Jaws reads this as a list, although it is not meant to be a list, it's a top navigation menu.

    Is there any way in css/html to tell jaws to read it as a different element?

    DH

  15. #15
    Rabble Rouser bronze trophy
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    If your top navigation menu is a list of links then it's a list. If for some reason it's not supposed to be a list then don't mark it up as one.

  16. #16
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_C
    If your top navigation menu is a list of links then it's a list. If for some reason it's not supposed to be a list then don't mark it up as one.
    exactly. JAWS, for the most part, takes hints about what things are from the (x)html code (obviously). the whole reason for having navigation as lists is because semantically, that's what they are. leave it as it is, it makes sense...
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  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard
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    a thought for proper markup menus should ALWAYS be lists? no?

  18. #18
    Rabble Rouser bronze trophy
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    Off the top of my head I can't think of a situation where a menu wouldn't be a list, but I don't think I'd use a blanket statement and say they should ALWAYS be lists.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Evangelist dhtmlhelp's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    thanks, I came to the same conclusion. It is a shame Jaws does not read css, that way it would read the display type and indicate the list is displayed horizontally.

    DH

  20. #20
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhtmlhelp
    Hi guys,

    thanks, I came to the same conclusion. It is a shame Jaws does not read css, that way it would read the display type and indicate the list is displayed horizontally.

    DH
    not to sound patronising or condescending, but...what does a blind person care about whether a series of links is horizontal, vertical, or diagonal...?
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  21. #21
    SitePoint Evangelist dhtmlhelp's Avatar
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    Hi Redux,

    I think your point is very short sighted. Why bother coding so that a screen reader reads the content in order?

    If you ask a blind person I think they do mind wether they can perceive the look of a page. I don't think it is only an opinion.

    DH

  22. #22
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhtmlhelp
    Hi Redux,

    I think your point is very short sighted. Why bother coding so that a screen reader reads the content in order?

    If you ask a blind person I think they do mind wether they can perceive the look of a page. I don't think it is only an opinion.

    DH
    excuse me, but...horizontal or vertical, a list of links is a list of links. if your list is in order, it will read it in order. wanting the screenreader to read out something like "this list displays horizontally" is pretty much on par of saying "why can't the screenreader read the colour attributes and say: 'this list is red on a blue background'".

    i fail to see how the visual representation has anything to do with the order of the elements on a page, and would posit that you may be getting the two separate issues confused...

    yes, blind users create their own "image" of how a site is structured (header, navigation area, main content). but whether a navigation list is horizontal or vertical is semantically irrelevant, and pertains purely to the presentation. and yes, i did ask my colleague - who happens to be 100% blind...

    Edit:

    don't mean to appear rude...just wanting to understand where you're coming from
    Last edited by redux; Jun 23, 2003 at 07:38.
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  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I can see where dhtmlhelp is coming from but I thought the same as redux, would it really be of any benefit to tell the user the list is horizontal or vertical? Wouldn't it be really annoying to them if they heard every attribute on the screen eg "pic of John Smith surrounded by a blue border"??

  24. #24
    SitePoint Evangelist dhtmlhelp's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    have been away. Hmm, quite a discussion, and it seems that for some it is pointless. Redux, you have tried jaws. It reads out <ol>s as 'ordered list' and <ul>s as 'unordered list', why not have <hl>s (although hl is taken for headline, something similar), read out as 'horizontal list', I think it is perfectly relevant to top navigation menus.

    DH

    PS: you have not been rude redux, we are discussing, say it as it comes. I am curious to know if your friend minds how a list is visually displayed (although from your previous post it seems not), I believe it has semantic meaning, to me at least.


    EDIT: maybe the confusion stems from the fact that I am referring to top navigational menus coded as <ul>s and you are referring to simple lists displayed horizontally. I think this issue goes beyond the top navigation. We agree that tabula content should be displayed in tables. However, it often happens that content is not of tabular type but is displayed in tabular format through css, and that headings are required. It is often convenient to display these headings in <li> format, hence a need to give meaning to such headings. so <hl> or similar would suggest a heading list. I may be speculating, but I think many share my thoughts.
    Last edited by dhtmlhelp; Jun 25, 2003 at 16:28.

  25. #25
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    again, there is a difference, in my opinion, between ol/ul and the hypothetical hl: OL suggests that there is an order in the elements...of course. first, second, third, etc...suggesting a set of steps that need to be followed in that particular sequence, or similar. UL means that all the elements are of same importance, not in a particular order, etc. so, it's a structural/semantic connotation. HL would denote a visual representation, not a semantic one...so my opinion still stands: what would a visually impaired user need to know the visual representation of a list for ?

    and yes, you may be interested to know that in XHTML2.0 there will be a new "navigation list" element http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml2/mod-list.html#sec_11.2.
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