I've experimented with several options to "conceal" the ugly text-only pages that work well for screen reader users; the webmaster I work for won't allow them to become available to visual browsers.
At first, I tried using the CSS rule, "display:none" which was recommended by several reputable websites.
I quickly discovered that later versions of the two most popular sceen readers now build what's called a "Document Image Model", instead of parsing the raw HTML, and these programs now honor display:none rules, and won't render the sections in this class.
I then discovered Invisible Content Just for Screen Reader Users
[webaim.org] (a reputable accessibility site) which promotes using this CSS rule:
hiding the content above the viewable area of the browser and also shrinking the content to a height and width of 1 pixel"
Here's my concern:
Will the search engines view this as "spamming"?
I've done a lot of coding that should indicate to crawlers this section is for screen readers, such as naming the class "screen-reader-text-only" etc., etc.
Here's my 2nd concern:
I've put the link to this section in tiny, invisible text up in a position so that screen readers hear it first; again, at the instruction of the webmaster who doesn't want visual browsers to be able to try to follow it (which won't work anyway) ..
Could either one of these techniques be viewed by SE's as hiding text, and get the site penalized accordingly?
Thank you, in advance, to anyone who can offer advice.