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RE: Text being imperceptible (allegedly)

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Wed, 1 Jun 2005 16:41:50 -0500
Message-ID: <6EED8F7006A883459D4818686BCE3B3B0153D40F@MAIL01.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Joe Clark" <joeclark@joeclark.org>, "WAI-GL" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Joe Clark wrote:

<blockquote>
Now, can somebody tell me how text-- which the Working Group from time 
immemorial has privileged over every other data type on the Web-- is 
suddenly not perceivable? You've got guidelines coming out the wazoo 
</blockquote>

Joe is responding to some notes in the minutes to this morning's
Techniques Task Force call.

Just for the record, I did not say that text *is* not perceivable.  I
said that the guidelines as written make an unspken *assumption* that
text is perceivable *by default*, and I suggested that it might not be a
good idea to rely on such an unspoken assumption.

There are many things that can happen to make text imperceivable. Some
of these are deliberate (display: none, for example, or deliberate
choices to make text- and background colors the same).  Others may be
accidental (or the same techniques may have unintended consequences.)

Text may become illegible for some users if it can't be scaled, etc.,
etc.

We have guidelines and SC about making many other things perceivable.
It's interesting that we *assume* text is always already perceptible.

"Good design is accessible design"
John Slatin, Ph.D.
Senior Accessibility Specialist
RampWEB, Inc.
phone +1.512.266.6189 email jslatin@rampweb.com
www.rampweb.com 

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Joe Clark
Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2005 3:41 PM
To: WAI-GL
Subject: Text being imperceptible (allegedly)



>From the minutes today:

<http://www.w3.org/2005/06/01-wai-wcag-minutes.html>

>   bg: tech about using display:none and positioning to create
invisible
>   labels
>
>   js: have issues with display:none

It's in the spec and people can use it.

>   mc: also have issues with display:none; also it is a tech to work
>   around WCAG GL's that people don't like

Three real-world examples, please?


>   js: we need a sc for making text percievable, we are making a
default
>   assumption that text is accessible, which is not good [...]
>   js: yeah, we need a guideline, that deals with the inacurate
>   assumption about text being perceivable but I don't want to
>   proliferate
>   guideline

Now, can somebody tell me how text-- which the Working Group from time 
immemorial has privileged over every other data type on the Web-- is 
suddenly not perceivable? You've got guidelines coming out the wazoo 
requiring us to write (using text) in an understandble way; use text 
equivalents; and even use only a certain set of character encodings. The

Working Group is cuckoo for text. And suddenly it's deemed not 
perceivable?

Is this a way of exaggerating obscure, rarely-seen edge cases-- like
styling text with display: none or identical foreground and 
background colours--
or is this yet another way of making the false claim that, since IE/Win 
can't resize text in pixels nothing else can, hence text may never be 
sized in pixels?

Perhaps proponents of this absurd idea could give us three real-world 
examples. You have to demonstrate that there is an actual accessibility 
impact on people with disabilities rather than the site's simply being
not 
your cup of tea.

-- 

     Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
     Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
       --This.
       --What's wrong with top-posting?
Received on Wednesday, 1 June 2005 21:41:57 UTC

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