jadelennox: Dreamwidth Sheep in a wheelchair with the text "I Dream of Accessibility." (dreamwidth accessibility)
[personal profile] jadelennox posting in [community profile] access_fandom
I often see people whose goal is to be helpful and promote good, accessible design stating that one of the most important things when writing accessible HTML is to use <strong> and <em> instead of <b> and <i>. While using semantically meaningful tags is important to write semantically correct HTML, it has no effect on accessibility. In practice, no screenreaders distinguish between <strong> and <b> or <em> and <i>. Again, it's not a bad thing from a semantically correct HTML point of view, but it won't help your readers with disabilities.

I love the clearly written articles about accessibility at the WebAIM site, which talk in simple terms about not just procedures but principles. I suggest that everyone who cares about making more accessible fandom web resources take some article on that site when you have a free 5 minutes and read it. Any article that interests you. "Writing appropriate alternative text" might be particularly apropos to the questions many people have asked, because alternative text is an art, not a science.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-11 02:36 pm (UTC)
sqbr: (up)
From: [personal profile] sqbr
That is so useful (and very relevant to me), thanks! I think I knew some of this stuff and forgot it.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-11 02:58 pm (UTC)
sharpest_asp: Nate Ford sitting on a bench, Sophie Devereaux resting against his lap (Default)
From: [personal profile] sharpest_asp
Interesting. The whole reason I started strong and em a few years back was because some people kept swearing their readers rendered them differently.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-11 03:20 pm (UTC)
zopyrus: roman woman with pearls (Default)
From: [personal profile] zopyrus
Thanks for the links. They look really helpful and interesting, and I'll definitely be reading the "alternative text" one!

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-11 04:12 pm (UTC)
jackandahat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jackandahat
This is good to know - I got a really condescending lecture a while back about how everyone used "strong" and "em" and it was the only reasonable thing to do if you wanted disabled people to be able to read your posts. But that was the first I'd heard of it so I did wonder.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-11 07:26 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] destinyislands
This is so useful! Thank you for the link. Mind if I link to this entry elsewhere?

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-13 02:27 am (UTC)
jesse_the_k: uppercase Times Roman "S" with nick in upper corner, text below reads "I shot the serif." (shot the serif)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
I can't claim to know how this became a "myth," but if you have an excess need to create access, here are two places where the right tag does make a difference:

the <cite> tag: use this instead of <i> or <em> for the titles of books, articles, music etc (within the rules of one's style guide, of course). Follows the basic "the more markup reflects structure, the better" rule. If <cite> is used consistently, readers can separate research sources from random words, phrases, and names.

the <blockquote> tag: sighted readers recognize block quotes by changes in type, margins, and/or line spacing. (It seems that most DW styles handle blockquotes uniquely, so I can't make any prediction how it appears to you. I do know that readers using voice output or large print miss that implied information. For my writing, I've developed the following string (I used Typinator on my Mac to insert it when needed.)

<blockquote><small><i>begin quote</i> </small>CLIPPED TEXT HERE<small> <i>quote ends</i></small></blockquote>

Here's a sample (from a random "lemon chicken" SGA fanfic, of course):
begin quote  It had been one hell of a week. The silent treatment, cold shoulders, plus dirty left-handed remarks from the military was bad enough but having your own gate team think you were scum took first prize. Ronon refused to go running. It was amazing how many excuses the Satedan came up with to beg out. Nor would he spar. Teyla had this ever present estranged smile on her lips each time she politely declined his many invitations to spar with her; though her eyes told him a different story. Sparring would have given her the excuse she needed to beat the crap out of him for what she assumed he had done or rather what he hadn't done. Those bantos rods stung even when she was pulling her hits in practice. But at every opportunity she declined. The mixture of regret and pitiable looks in her eyes was too much to bear.  quote ends

Yes, I'm making the start and end of the blockquote specific. I'm literal-minded that way.

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