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

From: Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2012 18:14:45 +0000
To: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
CC: 'HTML Accessibility Task Force' <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, 'Sam Ruby' <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <AB5704B0EEC35B4691114DC04366B37F16B6D12E@TK5EX14MBXC289.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
We have recorded this formal objection to the WG decision on ISSUE-204 at:

Given the progress on subsequent changes to the material adopted for ISSUE-204, do you wish to maintain this Formal Objection?  If so then we will keep it on this list so that it can be presented to the W3C Director at the next transition of the HTML5 specification.  If not please let us know and we will drop it from the list.


Paul Cotton, Microsoft Canada
17 Eleanor Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K2E 6A3
Tel: (425) 705-9596 Fax: (425) 936-7329

-----Original Message-----
From: John Foliot [mailto:john@foliot.ca] 
Sent: Monday, August 13, 2012 10:29 PM
To: 'Sam Ruby'; public-html@w3.org
Cc: 'HTML Accessibility Task Force'
Subject: FORMAL OBJECTION (was RE: Working Group Decision on ISSUE-204 aria-hidden)

Sam Ruby wrote:
>    * Assertion of "harmful behaviors" is also not sufficiently 
> supported
>      by evidence.  In particular, it makes a claim that has previously
>      been disputed, and without a single example of such markup.

It is impossible to demonstrate harmful behaviors in a technology that has yet to surface - this is a ludicrous statement. 

Placing a <a href>Link</a> inside an @hidden container MUST still take tab focus for a non-sighted user and their Assistive Technology to interact with it, yet at the same time hides that focus from the sighted user: this is simple logic. Proving the harm of this is currently impossible due to lack of implementation anywhere: conversely however no one has been able to prove that this is NOT harmful. 

Allowing tab-focusable content to reside inside of a container that is specifically hidden to any other user, including a sighted, key-board only user, is harmful because that sighted user will lose track of their tab focus, with no other means of knowing where their cursor is. 

This is a direct contravention of a WCAG 2 AA Requirement: 
	"2.4.7 Focus Visible: Any keyboard operable user interface has a mode of operation where the keyboard focus indicator is visible."

Therefore, implementation of this Change Proposal is a Direct and Willful Violation of the existing WCAG Specification, and the basis of My Formal Objection. I do not believe that the HTML5 WG should be violating such an important W3C Recommendation (one which countless countries and industries have based their entire on-line accessibility requirements - whether policies or legislation - upon).

John Foliot
Received on Wednesday, 10 October 2012 18:16:02 UTC

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