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Minimum contrast needed for default layout in case 1.4.3 is met via a contrast control

From: WCAG 2.0 Comment Form <nobody@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 16:59:50 +0000 (GMT)
To: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org
Message-Id: <20080131165950.6E9635F70B@stu.w3.org>

Name: Michael Zapp
Email: redaktion@bitvtest.de
Affiliation: BIK (barrierefrei informatieren und kommunizieren)
Document: W2
Item Number: Success Criterion 1.4.3
Part of Item: 
Comment Type: technical
Summary of Issue: Minimum contrast needed for default layout in case 1.4.3 is met via a contrast control
Comment (Including rationale for any proposed change):
It seems somewhat imbalanced to require web designeres to stick to a quite limited colour palette on the one hand - and allowing them to more or less ignore the success criteria on the other hand simply by including a contrast control on the page.

Even a web site with extremey low contrast (e.g. light grey text on a white background) can easily comply to 1.4.3 if the designer only adds an unobstrusive style switcher somewhere at the bottom of the page. We feel this might encourage web designers to ignore colour contrast issues altogether for the default layout and rely solely on the style switcher for compliance with 1.4.3.

While this would probably hardly affect users with severe colour vision deficiencies (as anyone who absolutely requires certain colour combinations will need to adjust his browser settings anyway), it might impair accessibility for people with mild colour vision deficiencies significantly. These users would be forced to search for the style switcher, figure out how it works and check the options it offers again and again on every site they visit.

Proposed Change:
The default layout should have a minimum colour contrast to begin with, e.g. a contrast ratio of 3:1, even if there is a contrast control providing higher contrast levels.

Also the guidelines should specify that the contrast control itself should have a contrast ratio of at least 5:1 and be positioned at the top of the page. It should also be labeled clearly in text form (and not just designed as a tiny and possibly ambiguous icon).
Received on Thursday, 31 January 2008 16:59:55 UTC

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