Google enhances(?) accessibility.

Take a look at search results on Google. Notice that as of today 15/11/2006, the link text of each result is now marked up as a header. Is this an advance in accessibility? Well certainly for users of some screenreaders it does mean that it is much faster to jump from result to result, but is improving the experience of users of a particular product (or products) really in the spirit of improved accessibility? or just a media friendly cheat. Headers are meant for structural mark-up, which I suggest this is not. On the face of it this may sound like a weak arguement, afterall for years we (the campainers) have been advocating the use of work arounds to improve the user experience. What concerns me is that in the absence of conformant assistive tech products individual designers are being forced to create their own solutions which are dependant on the features of products which they don’t as a rule know a great deal about, or where what they do know is based on a very narrow selection of the most market dominant products. What concerns me is where will it all end? because we the assistive tech user can be certain who will be the ones to lose out a couple of years down the line when we start to see solutions that conflict with each other or with our technology if we aren’t using the product which the designer had in mind when they did thedevelopment. What are Standards and guidance for if not to give us semantic solutions.


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