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Web Accessibility Policy of the State of Maine

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Implementation Guidelines

12. Frames

12.2 - Avoid using frames.

What:
Frames are sometimes used inappropriately for formatting and layout. For example, empty frames can be used to create margins around or within a page.

Why:
Screen readers cannot judge whether the content of a frame is significant and must identify every frame for the user. Having to read this extraneous information for non-essential frames can be time consuming and confusing.

How:
Use frames sparingly. If a frame is not necessary for page content, eliminate it.

Ref: n/a

12.1 - Provide meaningful names and page titles for all frames.

What:
HTML frames are used to divide web pages into separate areas, each displaying a separate web page. Each frame is identified by a name attribute and each page contained within a frame is identified by its <title> element.

Why:
To navigate pages with frames, users who are blind must be able to identify the different frames and understand the purpose of each frame. Most screen readers identify frames by speaking the name and/or page title of each frame.

How:
Give each frame an understandable name that indicates the frame's function. For example, use name="Navigation" and name="Content" rather than name="nav" and name="right". Set the <title> element of each page contained within a frame to match the name attributes or to identify the current content of that frame.

Note: Traditionally, the "name" attribute is used for programming and should not contain spaces; the title attribute, which can contain spaces, can also be used to set a more descriptive name for each frame; however, this technique is not yet supported by all screen readers.

Ref: WCAG 12.1; 508 i