[uf-discuss] The datetime screen reader problem is almost complete bollocks

Adam Craven - Four Shapes adam.craven at fourshapes.com
Fri Mar 28 09:56:43 PST 2008

We had a very experienced screen reader user in today (http://www.abilitynet.org.uk/webteam#robin 
) testing the new BBC iPlayer mark-up with abbr design pattern.

He was adamant that the abbreviation title tag problem was hardly  
going to affect any screen reader users. Why? Because by default, the  
title attribute isn't used much. Users of JAWs 9, 7.1, Windows eyes  
6.1, Hal 9.91 have to edit the preferences to start reading the title  
tag in abbr. And users who don't change the default settings are the  
most important to accommodate - they're in the majority.

 From these preliminary results it looks like the BBC can push the  
date-time-pattern and screen readers can play catch-up if needed to.  
We'll have more in-depth tests and reports done in a month or so.

Adam Craven

PS. There was an instance where a JAWS preference, 'Abbreviation  
expansion/meta data' caused unexpected results. It reads the title  
tag, even when the content is display:none.

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