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Re: acceptable fallbacks [was: Re: Is longdesc a good solution? ...]

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2008 12:52:51 +0300
Cc: Justin James <j_james@mindspring.com>, "'David Poehlman'" <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>, "'Jim Jewett'" <jimjjewett@gmail.com>, "'HTML WG'" <public-html@w3.org>, wai-xtech@w3.org
Message-Id: <3D6E37B3-1527-4000-B4CA-DEDF5902BEC8@iki.fi>
To: Dave Singer <singer@apple.com>

On Sep 12, 2008, at 03:52, Dave Singer wrote:
>>> In any case, full-text transcripts are useful for general audiences,
>>> so once a full-text transcript has been written, it doesn't make  
>>> sense
>>> to hide it in a fallback chain only for deafblind users. Instead, it
>>>  should be available to all users.

(Quote was from me--not David Poehlman.)

> *Any* adaptation should be provided on the basis of a (positive)  
> expressed need, not on the basis of a (negative) 'disability'.

Sure, a media query should query for the combination of the client  
software, client hardware and the user for the ability to convey audio  
to the user instead of querying for the reason why audio cannot be  

> So saying that 'because some people without a disability might want  
> X, therefore X should not be treated as an accessibility question'  
> is a non-sequitur, to me.

My point is that the moral characteristics of a feature-motivating use  
case are different depending on whether the use case is about a  
disability or whether it's merely a matter of preference. Obscuring  
the accessibility issues with matters of preference in these already  
overlong email threads doesn't seem productive. However, if authors  
addressing a disability issue end up addressing a matter of preference  
or a matter of temporary browsing circumstance as a side effect,  
that's a happy coincidence, but we should set engineering goals  
according to the disability-related issue foremost.

> There is no 'fallback chain for deaf-blind users'.  There is  
> material to enhance accessibility.  Why you might want it or need it  
> is none of my business.  It *is* available to all users.

If the user needs to go flip settings to indicate no visual content  
and no audio content in order to discover a transcript, then it's not  
available to all users *for practical purposes*. That's why an  
automatic alternative selection chain isn't the (only) place where a  
transcript should be put.

Henri Sivonen
Received on Friday, 12 September 2008 09:53:46 UTC

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