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The Accessibility Hat Trick: Getting Abbreviations Right (16 Jan 2006)
The point of including expanded forms of abbreviations is to make sure that users can access those forms if needed. The value of the abbr element lies in its ability to tell screen readers what they should read (thus improving the flow of spoken text), while also providing additional useful information to visual users with learning or cognitive disabilities (or those coping with language barriers). The assertion that abbr is structural is misguided, as the point of the tag is the content of its title attribute.

When we talk about accessibility, we are not talking only about users with visual disabilities. Many disabilities can affect a personís ability to access text, and we want to both improve access and make it clear that accessibility aids exist on our sites. Visual presentation for abbr (as well as non-visual presentations discussed below) achieve this.
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