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Guideline 1.4 and 1.5 Issues Summary and proposed resolutions

From: Ben Caldwell <caldwell@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2004 21:04:33 -0500
Message-Id: <200409170205.i8H25SKP029667@jalopy.cae.wisc.edu>
To: "'WAI GL \(E-mail\)'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>


The following list is a summary of the open issues associated with guidelines 1.4 and 1.5. It includes a series of proposed resolutions for each issue based on the proposal from Gregg to combine 1.4 and 1.5 that Gregg sent to the list earlier today. [1]

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-gl/2004JulSep/0677.html 


Guideline 1.4 (visual-contrast) Issues:

Issue #344. Algorithm for testing foreground/background contrast.
Proposed resolution:
OPEN. The working group is still seeking an algorithm that measures contrast in a way that is accurate and testable enough that we could include it in the guidelines. 

Issue #377. threshold for grayscale vs. black and white
Proposed resolution:
RESOLVED/UNCLEAR: Not clear whether this is still an issue. Marked status as UNCLEAR, pending clarification from Harvey.

Issue #409. Are "foreground content" and "background content" generally applicable?
Proposed resolution:
CLOSED: Proposed changes include definitions of background image and "foreground" is no longer used. Need to check back with Kynn to see if this helps address the issue.

Issue #433. Why is visual/audio contrast extended?
Proposed resolution:
CLOSED. We are no longer using core and extended and this proposal incorporates criterion at each level that address the needs of low vision users.

Issue #454. sugg. test for contrast
Proposed resolution:
OPEN: Associated with Issue #344 since algorithm is not yet complete. A tool is in development that will be designed to allow testing contrast in a repeatable fashion based on whatever algorithm is included in the end.

Issue #467. contrast should be required
Proposed resolution:
CLOSED. We are no longer using core and extended and this proposal incorporates criterion at each level that address the needs of low vision users.

Issue #489. how to objectively measure questionable contrast?
Proposed resolution:
OPEN: Added a dependency with Issue #344, which, if an algorithm can be found, would make measuring contrast objectively measurable. 

Issue #509. easily differentiated in all forms of media?
Proposed resolution:
CLOSED. This proposal no longer makes a distinction between visual and audio contrast.

Issue #559. Contrast checkpoint seems to address usability issues rather than accessibility
Proposed resolution:
CLOSED: The WG feels that contrast is an important accessibility issue for individuals with low vision and color deficiency as well as for individuals with hearing impairments.

Issue #590. vagueness of visual and audio contrast
Proposed resolution:
CLOSED. Proposed wording addresses the ambiguities noted in this issue.

Issue #591. comments regarding contrast and defn. of easily readable
Proposed resolution:
CLOSED. The phrase "easily readable" has been removed. Create a new issue related to the questions about sources and references for 20 db.

Issue #592. what are "standard foreground/background contrast reqs."?
Proposed resolution:
OPEN. The informative sections of this guideline have not been addressed in this proposal and the examples still need some work.

Issue #605. Proposed wording for visual contrast SC 3
Proposed resolution:
CLOSED: revised proposal incorporates suggested plain language revisions from John.

Issue #677. 1.6 and user configuration vs. default presentation
Proposed resolution:
The ability to turn off background images where there is text over an image is not included for the following reasons:

1) If it is included, it would have to either be an or clause with the two existing recommendations at level 2 that propose a minimum contrast or it would have to be an additional criteria at level 2

2) If it was an OR clause with the two existing items it would then mean that instead of having a minimum contrast, a company could have text over a background image where there was terrible contrast as long as you could turn off the background. Unfortunately, no one knows how to turn off the backgrounds, so it would be mean that all of the material would be less accessible than the guideline it its current form. 

3) If it was added as an additional item to level 2 it would mean that it would never be possible to have text in an image (e.g., a .jpg or .gif) ever even if the text was very high contrast and alternate text was provided since it would not be possible to turn off the background of the text in the image since it was part of both the foreground text and the background image are part of single .jpg or .gif file. 

4) Hence, the ability to turn off the background is not included in the guidelines since it would make them weaker or impossible. 

Issue #678. distinction between foreground and background content

1) We are not making a distinction between foreground and decorative. Often the background information is not decorative. It may be useful for users to have decorative information disappear, however, we do not have any guidelines that address this. It is not the intention of this guideline to address it.

2) The issue of overlapping 2 pieces foreground content would be addressed by the fact that when the first one is being read, the second one would be considered background to it. When the second one is being read, the first one would be considered background to it. Thus, the contrast requirements would allow foreground content to overlap as long as the mutual contrast requirements are met. We will add a note to the testing and techniques documents to make this clear for those instances where it occurs. 

Issue #797. Level 1 SC Note rewording proposal
Proposed resolution:
CLOSED: Incorporated suggested rewording for note from Andi (IBM comments) 

Issue #828. Clearer definition of "foreground" and "background"
Proposed resolution:
CLOSED. New definitions have been included in this proposal.

Issue #839. contrast issues for non-text content?
Proposed resolution:
CLOSED: Addressed in rewording.

Issue #849. meaning of "resource provides a mechanism"?
Proposed resolution:
CLOSED: "provides a mechanism" has been removed in the proposed text.

Issue #872. "make it easy" is too subjective
Proposed resolution:
CLOSED: The guideline itself uses the term "easy" but this does not appear in the success criteria which are very objective. Thus, the guideline is meant to give the general idea for what should be done and success criteria tell you exactly what is meant and how much must be done. 

Issue #984. Contrast should be required at minimum level
Proposed resolution:
CLOSED. We are no longer using core and extended and this proposal incorporates criterion at each level that address the needs of low vision users. This proposal includes a level 1 that allows the user to extract the text and to present at any contrast level they desire. At level 2, it has specific requirements that the default presentation be at different contrast levels. 

Guideline 1.5 (audio-contrast) Issues:

798. SC proposal for background audio that plays when a page is loaded
Proposed resolution:
CLOSED: Proposed revisions include a new criterion specific to the issue of background audio.

873. Good advice but should be in style guide, not these guidelines
Proposed resolution:
CLOSED: This is a very important criterion for individuals with hearing impairment. If the background sounds are too high, it is impossible for them to differentiate foreground from background and makes the content inaccessible. At the level 3 (the highest level of accessibility) we therefore suggest that the background sounds be kept 20db down. It is not included at a higher level because individuals who cannot hear who have difficulty telling the foreground from the background can rely on captions. 

985. Give audio contrast same treatment as visual contrast
Proposed resolution:
CLOSED. There is no Level 1 or Level 2 criterion requiring that background sounds in an audio track be lower than the speech in an audio track since there is already a requirement that the audio be captioned.   Thus, someone who is having trouble hearing the speech over the background sounds can turn on the captions. There is no similar requirement which is over the top of graphics be read aloud. Hence, the need for Level 1 and Level 2 criteria in dealing with visual text over graphical information.

Ben Caldwell | <caldwell@trace.wisc.edu>
Trace Research and Development Center <http://trace.wisc.edu>   
Received on Friday, 17 September 2004 02:06:17 UTC

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