accessibility Hiding non-interactive content from visible display, still read by screen readers


If you were to hide a link by setting display: none in the CSS then screen readers wouldn’t find it.

Instead, we position it absolutely, with clipping.


.offscreen { position: absolute; clip: rect(1px 1px 1px 1px); /* for Internet Explorer */ clip: rect(1px, 1px, 1px, 1px); padding: 0; border: 0; height: 1px; width: 1px; overflow: hidden; }


<div class="offscreen">This text is hidden.</div>


Steve Faulkner (Paciello Group): HTML5 Accessibility Chops: hidden and aria-hidden, 1 May 2012.

Notes by Ted Drake, on use of the off screen technique described:

Using negative position can create long scroll bars when localizing a site for a rtl language. Also, it uses CSS properties that are commonly used and easy to accidentally over-ride.

The Yahoo Accessibility Lab recommends using clip for content that should be hidden from the visual user, yet available to screen reader users. Thierry Koblentz has a great article on this technique, as well as the underlying philosophy behind using the correct CSS techniques for hiding content. Clip your hidden content for better accessibility