[uf-discuss] Request for help from screen reader users from the BBC

Michael Smethurst Michael.Smethurst at bbc.co.uk
Thu May 22 09:17:47 PDT 2008

On 22/5/08 17:06, "Alasdair King" <alasdairking at gmail.com> wrote:

>>> I cant see why we cant accept the hAccessibility[2] solution and be done
>>> with it and just use a <span>, I believe most screen readers are not set
>>> up to read out loud the @title on a span by default.
>> Has anyone tested this in various screen readers?  If not, on what basis
>> would we accept it?
>> From the BBC page linked:
> "We've looked at quite a few screen readers out of the box and by
> default they don't expand abbreviation elements so the user still
> hears 19:30 not 2008-05-15T19:30:00+01:00."
> I infer that they've tested the screenreaders, they're just worried
> there are lots of blind people who have turned on ABBR, and the BBC is
> a big, sensitive target. I know blind people are more annoyed about
> the lack of audio descriptions in iPlayer, but there'll be some
> uber-geek screenreader user in a well-off advocacy group who'll
> complain.
> People who have problems will be the subset of users who (use a
> screenreader) AND (have a screenreader that supports ABBR) AND (have
> turned on abbreviation elements) AND (come across hCalendar ABBR
> elements) AND (find this one thing the biggest headache in using the
> site.) Why not just offer to buy both those people a beer to make up?
> I'll mail my screenreader-using friends and ask them to respond anyway.

Worth pointing out that we're also worried that the abbreviation design
pattern will rule out future non-microformat use of abbreviations for
screenreader users. We're talking to screenreader manufacturers about their

And we're also concerned about the effects of wacky tool-tips on those with
cognitive disabilities.

Anyway, all evidence is good so thanks

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