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Re: Request to Strengthen the HTML5 Accessibility Design Principle

From: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 18:27:15 +1000
Message-ID: <2c0e02830906240127p16f2076fl2eba27db82906f0d@mail.gmail.com>
To: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Cc: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, Catherine Roy <ecrire@catherine-roy.net>, Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>, Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>, Philip TAYLOR <p.taylor@rhul.ac.uk>, Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>, Roger Johansson <roger@456bereastreet.com>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Hi Laura,

Let me just share a note on efforts in Multimedia accessibility.

There has been work produced and discussed over the last months in
this group about video accessibility, e.g.
http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/Video_captioning and
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Accessibility/Video_a11y_Study08 and much
more.

However, it has been decided that the first version of HTML5 <video>
(and <audio>) will not have an in-built solution for captions, audio
annotations and the like, because it is possible to do such with
javascript and external files. It has also been stated that after some
experimentation and experience, the idea is that a second version of
HTML5 should have a solution to this.

There are people outside the WHATWG experimenting with such issues.
There are even chats between different browser vendors about this.
Once some more discussion and experimental implementations are
available, the discussion will certainly flare up again and go across
W3C working groups. At the 2008 TPAC, there were some initial
discussions between some members of WAI, public-html, and WHATWG
groups, just to make sure basic requirements are understood.

So, basically the answer to the low number of discussions on
Multimedia accessibility on this mailing list is that it's time hasn't
come yet. But it certainly hasn't been forgotten and several example
implementations using javascript exist (at least for captions, which
is a first step).

Best Regards,
Silvia.

On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 4:32 PM, Laura
Carlson<laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Ian,
>
>>> We request that the accessibility design principle be disambiguated and
>>> strengthened by replacing it with the following definition text and two
>>> examples:
>>>
>>> "We will design all features so as to ensure that they are accessible to
>>> users with disabilities.
>
>> I strongly agree with this.
>
> That’s great.
>
>>> To this end, we will look to the W3C WAI groups for guidance, listen to
>>> their advice, and collaborate with them to reach mutually agreeable
>>> accessibility solutions.
>>
>> I agree with this also.
>
> That’s great too.
>
>> Note that "listen to" does not mean "obey", and
>> "mutually agreeable accessibility solutions" may not be those that the WAI
>> groups initially propose.
>
> This is correct.
>
>> As far as I can tell, the proposed text matches what the working group has
>> been doing already.
>
> What has been missing in principle and in practice in that specific
> portion of the proposal is *collaborating with WAI  groups* to reach
> *mutually agreeable* accessibility solutions. Lack of collaboration
> has impeded mutually agreeable issue resolution.
>
> For example, on Bruce Lawson's  "Alternate text in HTML 5" blog post
> regarding CG Consensus Resolutions on Text alternatives in HTML 5,
> Anne van Kesteren commented [1]:
>
>> Having looked at the document I am disappointed that it is just
>>  a list of recommendations we are supposed to take for granted(?)
>> without providing any kind of rationale.
>>
>> In my view it does not really address the critical questions that
>> have been raised e.g. regarding longdesc but just states how that
>>  group of people think things should work.
>>
>> On IRC this was characterized as A) “I’d like you to do X” B)
>> “There are some issues with X, e.g. …” A) “I’d like you to do X”.
>>  That is no way of having a discussion in my opinion.
>
> Besides the Text Alternatives issue [2] there has been no
> collaboration between WAI and HTML WG on following issues in the past
> two years.
>
> http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/SummaryForTable
> http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/AddedElementCanvas
> http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/MultimediaAccessibilty
>
> The table headers issue [3] is the only progress that has happened
> with the accessibility issues. That took people from PF and the HTML
> WG actually talking, truly debating, and collaborating at a
> face-to-face meeting. I think that collaboration is about only way to
> move the accessibility issues forward.
>
> People need to respect each other. IRC and the blogs aren't helping.
> The comments are vicious [4] [5].
>
> If HTML5 is going to be accessible, people are going to have to work
> together. Everyone has something to bring to the table. Youth can
> bring energy and fresh knowledge. Older people can offer experience
> and wisdom that can only come from years of real life experience.
>
> The HTML and WAI working groups should be collaborating, reaching
> higher, and seeking/finding ways of advancing accessibility
> solutions…not merely trying to maintain the status quo and trying to
> prevent regression due to removal of features without functional
> replacements.
>
> The primary markup language of the World Wide Web should be aiming to
> extend the range of communication and make the web more accessible.
> Can the groups work together in a sincere effort to make HTML 5 the
> best solution ever for everyone including people with disabilities?
>
> Best Regards,
> Laura
>
> [1] http://www.brucelawson.co.uk/2009/alternate-text-in-html-5/#comment-613950
> [2]  http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/IssueAltAttribute
> [3] http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/IssueTableHeaders
> [4] http://krijnhoetmer.nl/irc-logs/html-wg/20090611#l-118
> [5] http://www.brucelawson.co.uk/2009/alternate-text-in-html-5
>
> --
> Laura L. Carlson
>
>
Received on Wednesday, 24 June 2009 08:28:14 GMT

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