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FORMAL OBJECTION (was RE: Working Group Decision on ISSUE-204 aria-hidden)

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2012 19:28:58 -0700
To: "'Sam Ruby'" <rubys@intertwingly.net>, <public-html@w3.org>
Cc: "'HTML Accessibility Task Force'" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-ID: <024f01cd79c4$90cf5470$b26dfd50$@ca>
Sam Ruby wrote:
>    * Assertion of "harmful behaviors" is also not sufficiently
> supported
>      by evidence.  In particular, it makes a claim that has previously
>      been disputed, and without a single example of such markup.

It is impossible to demonstrate harmful behaviors in a technology that has
yet to surface - this is a ludicrous statement. 

Placing a <a href>Link</a> inside an @hidden container MUST still take tab
focus for a non-sighted user and their Assistive Technology to interact with
it, yet at the same time hides that focus from the sighted user: this is
simple logic. Proving the harm of this is currently impossible due to lack
of implementation anywhere: conversely however no one has been able to prove
that this is NOT harmful. 

Allowing tab-focusable content to reside inside of a container that is
specifically hidden to any other user, including a sighted, key-board only
user, is harmful because that sighted user will lose track of their tab
focus, with no other means of knowing where their cursor is. 

This is a direct contravention of a WCAG 2 AA Requirement: 
	"2.4.7 Focus Visible: Any keyboard operable user interface has a
mode of operation where the keyboard focus indicator is visible."

Therefore, implementation of this Change Proposal is a Direct and Willful
Violation of the existing WCAG Specification, and the basis of My Formal
Objection. I do not believe that the HTML5 WG should be violating such an
important W3C Recommendation (one which countless countries and industries
have based their entire on-line accessibility requirements - whether
policies or legislation - upon).

John Foliot
Received on Tuesday, 14 August 2012 02:29:37 UTC

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