Having a problem trying to write something using HTML. In my game you can enable some cheat codes by pressing a sequence of keys at the title screen (more specifically, eight presses of the arrow keys). I planned to show them as, well, arrows, both because it looks nice (and probably the only way it looks decent) and because the font I'm using has some good arrow characters. The problem is that if I recall correctly screen readers ignore arrows. I was considering using abbr to give them some sort of alternative text, but I'm not sure if they will be read since from what I'm reading it's a setting and it usually defaults to off (honestly what worries me is the fact that the text would be outright skipped without giving any hint of being there, if the user can tell to enable abbreviation expansion at that point it would be acceptable).
First of all let's test this... here's an example HTML file showing what I'm talking about. The first paragraph is just the arrows as-is (I don't expect this to work). The second paragraph is the arrows using the abbr tag. Is it possible to read the arrows in the second paragraph? (do not mess with the screen reader settings please, this should work as-is)
Does this work, at least for the major screen readers? If not, any suggestions? I don't really want to use images here since I have the feeling those may make things worse (and from what I was reading, JAWS prepends all images with "graphic" by default, and having that pronounced before every arrow is just going to be extremely annoying, if not outright confusing), and spelling out the words directly will just make it harder to read for visual users.
PS: no, I can't test it myself, turns out Firefox doesn't want to work with my screen reader (not even the menubar works), and yes, I tried other programs and the screen reader works with them. Ugh.