This Wiki page is edited by participants of the HTML Accessibility Task Force. It does not necessarily represent consensus and it may have incorrect information or information that is not supported by other Task Force participants, WAI, or W3C. It may also have some very useful information.
From HTML accessibility task force Wiki
4.5.3. The pre element
The spec states:
"Authors are encouraged to consider how preformatted text will be experienced when the formatting is lost, as will be the case for users of speech synthesizers, braille displays, and the like. For cases like ASCII art, it is likely that an alternative presentation, such as a textual description, would be more universally accessible to the readers of the document."
This doesn't really seem to address the problem. One of the code examples demonstrates the issue quite clearly:
"The following shows a contemporary poem that uses the pre element to preserve its unusual formatting, which forms an intrinsic part of the poem itself."
<pre> maxling it is with a heart heavy that i admit loss of a feline so loved a friend lost to the unknown (night) ~cdr 11dec07</pre>
(Apologies if the above code example doesn't come out right. Being a screen reader user, I have no way of telling whether it's displayed correctly or not. That's the problem right there really!)
Bug 10103 filed on 30th June 2011: http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=13103
4.5.13. The div element
The spec states:
"Authors are strongly encouraged to view the div element as an element of last resort, for when no other element is suitable. Use of the div element instead of more appropriate elements leads to poor accessibility for readers and poor maintainability for authors."
What is the use case for suggesting a div leads to poor accessibility? Using other elements might enhance accessibility, but I'm not sure that's exactly the same thing.
Bug 13157 filed on 6th July 2011: http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=13157