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â€œThese days many coders seem to defer to accessibility tools as if theyâ€™re Gospel, and end up carving up their markup like a Christmas goose to adhere to them, making other, far more used rendering tools and users suffer because of it.â€
I have to agree with this. If we keep giving screen readers a free pass, then this situation wonâ€™t get any better â€” what if weâ€™d made excuses for Internet Explorer 5.0?
It is especially critical for non-visual user agents (screen readers, spiders, etc.) to respect semantics, since thatâ€™s the only way they can infer meaning. We need to hold their feet to the fire â€” JAWS, Window-Eyes, Home Page Reader â€” just like we did with IE. In the meantime, we can provide alternate interfaces where required for accessibility.