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Re: Formal Recorded Complaint

From: Jason White <jason@jasonjgw.net>
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2007 12:29:32 +1000
To: HTMLWG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20070801022932.GA4656@jpc.local>

On Wed, Aug 01, 2007 at 02:56:58AM +0100, Ben 'Cerbera' Millard wrote:
>
> Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
>> [Position A]: Accessibility is important. Therefore we should have a  lot 
>> of HTML features that are there specifically to aid accessibility  for 
>> some classes of users. 

Often however, features which serve the purposes of "accessibility" also
benefit other applications. I can't think of any feature of HTML that was
included solely for "accessibility" as such.
>>
>> [Position B]: Many authors won't think that much about accessibility.  So 
>> the best accessibility enhancements are those that work on top of features 
>> that also have some benefit in mainstream browsers with no  added AT. In 
>> the course of making the right markup for general use, accessibility comes 
>> along for the ride, and that's basically all we  need.

If "non-visual user agents" such as voice browsers are taken into account,
then accessibility often does "come along for the ride", as long as the
quality of the user interface that can be constructed by the non-visual UA is
considered equally important, in designing the language, as that of a visual
UA. 
However, if non-visual UAs are treated as of only secondary importance, or
ignored, in designing a language feature, then accessibility can readily
suffer.
>
> There is a third point of view, albeit quite small:
>
>    [Position C]: Retain accessibility-specific features which
>    are in use. Add native accessibility to everything. Allow
>    both to be mixed where useful.

My main difficulty here is with the classification of features as
"accessibility-specific", which gives too narrow a conception of the
applications in which those features are, or may be, useful. Although there
may be arguments for features that specifically support assistive
technologies, such as @role, I think they are the exception and that measures
taken to improve "accessibility" typically have broader benefits, as long as
one is willing to think beyond the "graphical desktop browsers" paradigm.
Received on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 02:29:41 UTC

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