Internet Accessibility: Standards for a Modern Host - Guidelines Five through Eight
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Guideline five is concerned with tables and states that tables should transform gracefully. What this means is that people that use screen readers or other alternative display media, should still be able to ‘read’ the table. It also means that using tables for layout should be avoided. This guideline is broken up into six check-points; row and column headers should be used in data tables through the use of TH and TD tags. Check-point two additionally states that where appropriate, correct mark-up should be used to distinguish between elements of the table. This means using the scope, or id and headers attributes in conjunction to associate the relevant data items, or using the axis and headers attributes to define the logical levels of more complex tables. Both of these are priority one. Check-points three and four, both priority two, state that tables should not be used for layout purposes unless the table makes sense when linearized, and that if a table is used for layout purposes, tags should be used as they were intended instead for their formatting qualities. The final to check-points state that the summary attribute should be included on the table element, and that abbreviations should be used on header labels. These are both priority three.
Guideline six advises that new technologies should transform gracefully. Any pages that contain scripts, applets or objects should still work when user agents without these features or with these features switched off. The first three check-points, which are all priority one, are; documents should still be usable when stylesheets are not available, equivalent text only content should be updated inline with any dynamic content, and that pages are still usable when scripts or other technologies are switched off. The remaining priority two check-points state that event-handlers used in any scripts should be device independent and that alternative content should be provided if any dynamic content is not accessible itself.
Guideline seven stipulates that time-sensitive elements of the page must be controllable by the user. This can include news-ticker style applets or presentations. Check-point one is the only priority one, and advises that anything which cause screen flicker or a strobe effect is not allowed. The remaining priority two check-points state that blinking content should be avoided, anything that moves should have the functionality to be paused, periodically auto-refreshing pages should be avoided and that auto-redirecting of pages should be handled by the server instead of the client.
Guideline eight has just one check-point and advises that any embedded interfaces should be accessible. The check-point is a priority one unless the same functionality of the interface is provided elsewhere, if this is the case, it becomes a priority two. This refers to sites that provide any alternative interfaces, like the auction creation tool of ebay for example.
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