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Re: Expanding longdesc use

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2012 14:25:08 -0500
Message-ID: <CAOavpvfXq3Re6bxa9EUxb_L9LLY_hYw9FHE73d02kSDRYeQS6Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Cc: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Hi David,

> I think you are bumping up against a tension here that we have never really resolved.  It lies between
>
> "you haven't really provided for accessibility unless there are features that are explicitly and exclusively there for accessibility"
>
> "provisions which are invisible to the non-accessibility user and author tend to be poorly authored; accessibility as a natural consequence of good design for everyone is a better goal"
>
> I think a goal of having descriptions, transcripts, alternative text, alternative media, available and potentially useful to everyone would be good, myself -- I lean towards the second.

Allowing for discoverability has been discussed numerous times and
addressed with new spec [1] that will help browser vendors make it
more discoverable to others.

Discoverability tools exist for longdesc [2]. These tools are used by
sighted authors, people with cognitive or visual impairment, and
others [3]. On March 11, 2011, professional content producers at the
Digital Image and Graphic Resources for Accessible Materials Center
(DIAGRAM) addressed longdesc support for other users. Their testimony
states:

"features developed to help people with specific disabilities also
assist other users, and this is true for long image descriptions.
Today, for example, Firefox and Opera allow the user to open a context
menu over an image and choose to see the long description on the
screen, if @longdesc is included with the image. This is an excellent
tool for assisting sighted students with learning disabilities who
need textual reinforcement when deciphering the contents of a
complicated image. Also, as image descriptions become more widely
used, it is expected that search engines can take advantage of
descriptions in locating relevant images." [4]

The Change Proposal [3] provides a solution to the forced visual
encumbrance constraint [4] while specifying discoverability
functionality for all who want access to the description [5].

The belief that all good user interfaces make ALL things utterly and
extremely discoverable, and any design that makes an element less than
extremely discoverable should be obsoleted is a myth. All things can
not be utterly and extremely discoverable because everything is
limited.

Best Regards,
Laura

[1] http://www.d.umn.edu/~lcarlson/research/ld-rendering2.html
[2] http://www.d.umn.edu/~lcarlson/research/ld-ua.html
[3] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/InstateLongdesc/UseCases
[4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011Mar/0270.html
[3] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/InstateLongdesc
[4] http://www.w3.org/html/wg/wiki/ChangeProposals/InstateLongdesc/UseCases
[5] http://www.d.umn.edu/~lcarlson/research/ld-rendering2.html


-- 
Laura L. Carlson
Received on Thursday, 15 March 2012 19:25:37 UTC

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