[thelist] em, strong, b, i, css, and other letters

John Eckman eckman at liquidsquid.com
Mon Mar 5 09:54:07 CST 2001

At 08:15 AM 3/1/01, iris wrote:

> >screenreaders, as used by blind/visually impaired ppl,
> >audibly emphasize words in <strong> and <em> tags.
> >
> >iris

We hear (read) this all the time - in fact, I've said (written) it myself.

But are there *really* screenreaders which are capable of understanding 
<strong> and <em> which are simultaneously unable to understand/render in a 
meaningful way <i> and <b>? Which ones? What percentage of users using 
screenreaders have ones which can't understand <i> and <b>?

Since you can't put <em> and <strong> in a stylesheet, what are you 
supposed to do in css?

I don't mean to start an accessibility discussion- I'm all for it- but this 
mantra has started to sound suspiciously like "recieved wisdom" that gets 
trotted out on a regular basis but may or may not be factual.

(Like the old story about marketing the Chevy Nova in spanish-speaking 
countries . . . )

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