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RE: Warnings about access info loss (MS21)

From: Richards, Jan <jrichards@ocad.ca>
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 2010 14:21:02 -0400
To: Alastair Campbell <acampbell@nomensa.com>, "w3c-wai-au@w3.org" <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
Message-ID: <F2C77FB59A1A4840A01EF5F59B1826E20A283075DD@ocadmail.ocad.ca>
Hi Alastair,

Thanks for the overview! And another complication is that accessibility information spans the three levels of WCAG (A,AA, AAA)

For me, it boils down to this:

-          accessibility information is often some amount of extra effort

-          once added, accessibility information is often either hidden or less obvious in editing-views (@alt, aria relationships)

-          if it is lost, (just like anything else) it's frustrating to recreate

-          the fact that it is hidden may delay discovery that it is missing, aggravating the frustration


(Mr) Jan Richards, M.Sc.
jrichards@ocad.ca<mailto:jrichards@ocad.ca> | 416-977-6000 ext. 3957 | fax: 416-977-9844
Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) | http://inclusivedesign.ca/
Faculty of Design | OCAD University

From: w3c-wai-au-request@w3.org<mailto:w3c-wai-au-request@w3.org> [mailto:w3c-wai-au-request@w3.org]<mailto:[mailto:w3c-wai-au-request@w3.org]> On Behalf Of Alastair Campbell
Sent: November 1, 2010 7:23 PM
To: w3c-wai-au@w3.org<mailto:w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
Subject: Warnings about access info loss (MS21)

Hi Jan & Greg,

We're down to tackle comment MS21 about B.1.2.2. My summary would be:

- When a transformation from one type of content to another is made, the accessibility information should be preserved (covered in B.1.2.1).
- If it cannot be preserved (generally when going to a format which has less / different possible methods), then the user should be warned (contested in B.1.2.2).

Complicating factors are that:
- Copy and paste is a common 'transfer' method, and it would be annoying to get that message every time.
- A company couldn't put a derogatory message about someone else's format.

I think it is important to have a warning, as that can/should prompt a check after the transformation. However, I can see the usability issue if that happens often (i.e. the 'cry-wolf' dialogue).

We could add a line to the proposed part b:
"(b) Warning: if accessibility information required to meet the WCAG 2.0 success criteria will not be preserved in the output, then authors are warned (e.g., when saving a structured graphic to a raster image format). Authors may be allowed to set a preference to prevent the warning."

However, that does lead to whether the warnings should be per transformation type? (e.g. Word to HTML, or SVG to raster).
Or perhaps it should be per accessibility issue? I.e. If copy and paste looses alt text in one instance, that would be different from just loosing HTML structure in another instance.

Or am I making this even more complex!?

Kind regards,


Alastair Campbell           |  Director of User Experience
Received on Wednesday, 3 November 2010 18:21:29 UTC

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