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Re: FORMAL OBJECTION (was RE: Working Group Decision on ISSUE-204 aria-hidden)

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2012 18:14:36 -0700
Cc: 'Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis' <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>, 'Sam Ruby' <rubys@intertwingly.net>, public-html@w3.org, 'HTML Accessibility Task Force' <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-id: <0E1E3411-3E15-42F0-B532-9D4D90A35B0D@apple.com>
To: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>

Hi John,

On Aug 15, 2012, at 10:32 AM, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca> wrote:

> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> 
>> I'm pretty sure I didn't suggest that. I don't think a mouth-stick user
>> who is not visually impaired would ever be exposed to the link,
> 
> So then this technique is *ONLY* for visually impaired users? I want to be
> clear on what is being exactly proposed, as to date apparently this
> discussion seems to be clouded by some basic assumptions, one being that the
> longer textual description, hidden from sighted users (using @hidden) but
> semantically rich for visually impaired users, is being 'coded' only for
> that user group: the technique does not provide *any* access to the same
> content for sighted users.

Let me see if this is clear:

In Safari, aria-describedby (and aria properties in general) are only exposed via output-side assistive technologies. This includes screen readers and braille output, and perhaps also other things. This is true today, and likely would remain true if we exposed full semantics, not just flattened output. Even though we have no immediate plans to change it, it's possible that this could change.

If you are thinking about comparing to longdesc, Safari does not currently expose longdesc to any users. At this time we have no plans to expose it in any form. If that changed, we would likely start by exposing it via AT only, the same way that ARIA descriptions are exposed.

I hope this info helps.


> Why should only a non-sighted user have access to the extended description?

I think that question is beyond the scope of ISSUE-204, isn't it? Neither Change Proposal suggested changing where aria-describeby, or any other long description, is exposed.

> Without a means for *all* users to access this content, you are creating an
> artificial divide between sighted and non-sighted users with this technique.

It seems to me you have often argued the other side of this question. It's an interesting question, but again, beyond the scope of the issue.

> Outside of the moral and legal ramifications of what this segregation might
> suggest, it is at its very base a poor user experience for many sighted
> users who may also benefit from longer rich textual descriptions.
> 
> Returning to a quote pulled from the Apple web site:
> 
> 	"VoiceOver provides visual references to enable blind and sighted
> users to work together on the same computer at the same time."
> http://www.apple.com/accessibility/voiceover/ 
> 
> ...yet you have just suggested that a sighted user would never be exposed to
> the longer textual description: 
> 
> 	"I don't think a mouth-stick user who is not visually impaired would
> ever be exposed to the link"
> 
> Which shall it be? How does this technique support Apple's own statement
> that sighted and non-sighted users can work together on the same computer at
> the same time?

VoiceOver displays everything it speaks on the screen by default. If a sighted mouth-stick user enabled VoiceOver, the screen would display long descriptions. That's something that is true today. That is what the website statement refers to. If a blind user has VoiceOver enabled, a sighted user can stand near them and see everything the VoiceOver user hears.

At this point, I feel like I'm having to repeat the same points multiple times, so if you still have questions about how Safari and VoiceOver work, perhaps we could take them offline (e.g. phone).

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Thursday, 16 August 2012 01:14:32 GMT

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