W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > July 2007

Re: html 5 and accessibility issue

From: Ben Boyle <benjamins.boyle@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2007 17:59:12 +1000
Message-ID: <5f37426b0707010059h7c8f0712o73c00a2258f0c85e@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Sander Tekelenburg" <st@isoc.nl>
Cc: public-html@w3.org

There are a couple of levels of accessibility at play here.

1. embedded content should be accessible itself. If you embedding
flash, you should be producing accessible flash. If you are embedding
video, it should contain captions and audio description, etc. This is
all fine, it's accessibility related, it's quite challenging to do,
and it's largely irrelevant to the HTML WG as it must be managed
entirely outside of HTML anyway.

2. providing a fallback for when a plugin cannot be used. For example,
I run 64bit firefox at home here. There is no 64bit plugin for flash.
How can authors of HTML pages provide a fallback for me (something
better than the browser "missing plugin" message?) This is where it
would be useful to be able to use <embed> ... fallback ... </embed>.
This is highly relevant to the HTML WG as it is directly related to
fallback mechanisms within HTML itself.

Just want to highlight the difference between (1) making plugin
content accessible and (2) providing fallbacks for plugin content.
Both are important, but only the latter can be addressed through HTML.

Note that this latter is usually not about "disabilities" but about
technical constraints. Some of these are temporary (64bit flash
doesn't exist), there are often workarounds (I could install a 32bit
browser in my 64bit OS), but sometimes it is entirely out of the users
hands (the prime example is the locked down corporate browser you are
allowed - subject to strict usage policies - to use at your workplace
which you cannot, and absolutely must not, and had better not speak
of, customising).

As authors caring about accessibility, we need HTML to provide the
mechanisms to support users as best we can in all these situations.

Places emphasising these requirements are:

http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-TECHS/#tech-scripts
http://dev.w3.org/cvsweb/~checkout~/html5/html-design-principles/Overview.html#degrade-gracefully
http://dev.w3.org/cvsweb/~checkout~/html5/html-design-principles/Overview.html#universal-access

I also just read this gem :)
http://dev.w3.org/cvsweb/~checkout~/html5/html-design-principles/Overview.html#priority-of-constituencies

We are very much talking about the needs of users and authors here,
and in all threads relating to metadata/fallback mechanisms around
embedded content (and tables).

cheers
Ben
Received on Sunday, 1 July 2007 07:59:16 UTC

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