4. Clarify natural language usage

Slide 5 of 17
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Use markup that facilitates pronunciation or interpretation of abbreviated or foreign text.

When content developers mark up natural language changes in a document, speech synthesizers and braille devices can automatically switch to the new language, making the document more accessible to multilingual users. Content developers should identify the predominant natural language of a document's content (through markup or HTTP headers). Content developers should also provide expansions of abbreviations and acronyms.

In addition to helping assistive technologies, natural language markup allows search engines to find key words and identify documents in a desired language. Natural language markup also improves readability of the Web for all people, including those with learning disabilities, cognitive disabilities, or people who are deaf. Natural language markup may also enable machine translation of documents into other natural languages.

When abbreviations and natural language changes are not identified, they may be indecipherable when machine-spoken or brailled.

Check Checkpoints for guideline 4.

Next slide: Guideline 5.

Introduction: Table-of-Contents Guidelines: Table-of-Contents Checkpoints: Table-of-Contents Examples: Table-of-Contents

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Chuck Letourneau & Geoff Freed

W3C Web Accessibility Initiative

Copyright © 2000 W3C