[uf-discuss] "abbr" and accessibility - a work around.

Rickards, Julian (NDM) julian.rickards at ontario.ca
Mon Jun 25 08:04:20 PDT 2007

Andy wrote: 

> ... and they've come up with this way of working-around recent concerns about mis-use of "abbr":
>  <span class="smaller geo">
>    <abbr class="latitude" title="52.453856"></abbr>52^27'14"N
>    <abbr class="longitude" title="-1.748028"></abbr>01^44'53"W
>  </span>
> (degree symbols replaced with ASCII "^")
> I admire the lateral thinking, but I wonder if this is any better, from the PoV of people using assistive technology? If it is, it
> would seem to provide a simple work-around to recent concerns.

I must say that I don't like this because this code isn't providing an abbreviation for anything. Secondly, it may be (I haven't tested this in JAWS) that if JAWS is configured to read title text, unlike standard abbreviations where the title text would be read instead of the abbreviation, in this case, both the title text and the full text would be read because the full text is outside of the abbr element.

Secondly, what is wrong with the degree symbol (º or &#186;)? I think that screen reader users would recognize that character when it is used and sighted users would also (and in fact be confused by the ^).


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