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Re: summarization information delivery options: attribute or element

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 2010 06:22:23 -0600
Message-ID: <1c8dbcaa1002260422y5a97793ewf7110ca4d18bab3b@mail.gmail.com>
To: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>
Cc: Shelley Powers <shelleypowers@burningbird.net>, Gez Lemon <g.lemon@webprofession.com>, John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>, "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, public-html-a11y@w3.org
Hi Josh,

> However, the powers that be seem to see
> things differently hence this whole debacle and the /many/ threads about
> different use cases but since you so clearly state it, maybe a one size
> fits all approach is just fundamentally flawed!

It comes down to how Accessibility fits into Universal Design.

Accessibility is a condition of Universal Design, as other conditions
(media independence, language, infrastructure, geographical location,
culture, etc.). When accessibility has been considered in its own
right within universal access, people with disabilities won't be
overlooked. If people with disabilities are overlooked in a design,
then the design doesn't embody the principles of universality in the
first place. The danger of broadening the scope and distorting the
purpose of @summary to include everyone is that discussions can
quickly degenerate and lose focus, rather than addressing the initial
use case.

Access for people with disabilities is essential. This does not mean
that features should be omitted if not all users can fully make use of
them but rather that alternative/equivalent mechanisms must be
provided where needed. People with disabilities face some unique
challenges and barriers (and are only too often systemically
excluded). To ensure that such exclusion does not occur in HTML 5, it
does need to contain some features that are *only* of use to people
with certain disabilities, if functional equivalents can't provided.

Example: The image in the img element is not perceivable by blind
users. It has mechanisms for adding text alternatives. No one is
arguing to make alt text visible by default or add a button for it. A
text alternative for an image is not rendered with the image. Text
alternatives are there for people who cannot perceive the image. The
same principle applies to the summary attribute.

The reason for retaining @summary as valid and conforming is to ensure
a group people with disabilities, blind and non-visual users, have a
table summary mechanism and are not shut out.

Best Regards,
Laura
--
Laura L. Carlson
Received on Friday, 26 February 2010 12:22:55 GMT

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