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Re: F78: Overwriting default focus indicator

From: Loretta Guarino Reid <lorettaguarino@google.com>
Date: Sun, 5 Oct 2008 22:37:34 -0700
Message-ID: <824e742c0810052237t664e7057j5e25cc41ad91c014@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Andrew LaHart" <andrew.lahart@us.ibm.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

On Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 6:50 AM, Andrew LaHart <andrew.lahart@us.ibm.com> wrote:
> I have a question/comment about F78: Failure of Success Criterion 2.4.7 due
> to styling element outlines and borders in a way that overrides or renders
> non-visible the default visual focus indicator. The failure as it is written
> seems to mean that the browser default focus cannot be overwritten or turned
> off. Does assistive technology use the browsers default focus indicator to
> indicate focus to a user?
> If so, then I understand that it probably shouldn't be turned off entirely,
> but I'm having trouble understanding why the default focus indicator can't
> be rendered non-visible, as long as it is replaced by something more
> visible.
>
> In my opinion, in most browsers, including both IE 7 and Firefox 2, the
> default focus indicator is so hard to see that overriding it almost seems
> necessary in order to make the focus indicator really visible. It is
> especially hard to see when a form element, such as a checkbox, has focus.
>
> This Failure also seems to be in contradiction with 2.4.7 Any keyboard
> operable user interface has a mode of operation where the keyboard focus
> indicator is visible. (Level AA). Reading 2.4.7, it seems that is OK to
> override the default focus border as long as focus IS visible. We also allow
> an "author supplied, highly visible focus indicator" and C15 allows the use
> of CSS to change the presentation of a UI component when it receives focus.
> For example, changing the background color of a focused menu item still
> makes focus visible even if there is no dotted border.
>
> Does F78 mean that all of the sufficient techniques in 2.4.7 will fail?
> Perhaps F78 should just say that shouldn't entirely disable the focus
> indicator?
>
> Thanks for your help.
> Drew
>
>

Thanks for catching this. We agree that the failure was written too
narrowly. We are updating it so that the failure only occurs if there
is no visible focus indicator.
Received on Monday, 6 October 2008 05:38:16 GMT

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