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Meta With Note to Screen Readers?

Can I have a screen reader display some text using a meta element?

2:04 pm on Oct 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I've developed a site that uses extensive JS to enhance the UE, but it is designed to degrade well to browsers with no JS.

The non-JS version is also much more accessible than the JS version.

I don't need a skipnav because I use SOC [webmasterworld.com].

I spent a great deal of time trying to figure out if there was a way to redirect screen readers [webmasterworld.com], to no avail.

What I would like to do is to have a bit of text that says "If you wish to use a more accessible version of this site, browse with JavaScript disabled." or something like that.

I don't want this message to appear to the 95% of my users to whom it has no applicability.

If there is a <meta> tag that can display a message like this, that would be great.

Hidden text is not displayed. The closest I've seen is cramming text way offscreen [webmasterworld.com], but I'd like to avoid that kind of hack if possible (but that may be my only recourse).

Any suggestions?

2:19 pm on Oct 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Any suggestions?

I believe there are many ways to skin this cat. But, I think the most efficient and best long term solution is to detect and serve content based on the UA (User Agent).

If you truly need to serve an audience that have disabilities, then I think the best way is to serve them what they need, nothing more, nothing less.

I'm reading this one now...

Guidelines for Accessible and Usable Web Sites: Observing Users Who Work With Screen Readers

This quote contradicts what I say above. Let's talk more about this...

Many screen-reader users do not want a special version ("text version").
Some of the sites that our participants visited offer a "text version" or a "screen reader version." Only two of the 16 participants said that they liked using text versions. Others argued strongly that two versions are not necessary; one version made accessible is better.

Guideline 9. For most Web sites, spend the available time and effort making one version that is accessible to all rather than creating and having to later maintain two separate versions.

I am not aware of any "special metadata" for screen readers. But, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. If it is there, we will find it! :)

Oh, here's another interesting read...

Making Ajax Work with Screen Readers

10:26 pm on Oct 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for that Juicy Studio link!

Great stuff, and not too difficult to do.