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

Re: Accessibility is for everyone (was : Use of headers and summary attributes )

From: Preston L. Bannister <preston@bannister.us>
Date: Sun, 6 May 2007 09:45:08 -0700
Message-ID: <7e91ba7e0705060945t24c915f3re0b4a111ec6ad909@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Denis Boudreau (WebConforme)" <dboudreau@webconforme.com>
Cc: "Charles McCathieNevile" <chaals@opera.com>, "Philip Taylor (Webmaster)" <P.Taylor@rhul.ac.uk>, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
On 5/4/07, Denis Boudreau (WebConforme) <dboudreau@webconforme.com> wrote:

> [...] Those of us who have an
> expertise with accessibility should keep an eye out for those
> elements, while others who master the code more in depth should keep
> on doing what they're already doing - that would be pushing the
> concepts to their limits and seeing if they hold true.
>
> The real damage is not done by someone asking whether or not we
> should make HTML 5 more presentational than structural, or whether we
> should drop or keep such and such attributes. The real damage is
> staying silent when we should jump in and defend what we know is
> worth keeping or protecting.
>
> [...] Though I'd sure like more people to
> understand and care about accessibility, I also want people in here
> to focus on the mechanics of HTML because we already seem to be at
> least half a dozen who can defend the accessibility turf. If they can
> do both, then that's great but otherwise...
>


The expertise you mention (which I and almost every other developer lacks)
is the exact reason I have become somewhat skeptical of random features
thrown in nominally is support of accessibility.  Yes, it would be "nice" if
authors followed the guidelines, filled in the blanks (alt="", summary="",
etc.), and tried to think somewhat about accessibility.  But ... how often
does that happen out in the real world?  In the past I have made a
more-than-usual attempt to follow accessibility guidelines, but lacking any
expertise on the subject, in the end I have no idea if the result was in
fact any more accessible.  For all I know there could be some aspect of my
application that is extremely bad for accessibility.  I had and have
no wayof knowing!

Assume hiring an expert on accessibility is out of the question (as was the
case).  In the end, the degree of "accessibility" in an application I have
written is something to which I simply have no insight.

What I as a developer need is not random features or guidelines, but rather
some means on "testing" accessibility ... some test consisting of more than
just checking from the presence of attributes.

Accessibility is a worthy goal, but the use of attributes without expertise
(or any sort of semantic check) may have little or no value in general use.
Received on Sunday, 6 May 2007 16:45:10 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Monday, 29 September 2014 09:38:44 UTC