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Re: Leveraging Mashups For Accessibility:

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2007 19:55:22 -0600
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF64ABE7B9.1EBB1FA9-ON862573B8.0002D62A-862573B8.000AA481@us.ibm.com>
What is so short sighted about "If it works with a screenreader it's 
accessible"?  Accessibility is, and has always been to me, so much about 
all the stakeholders doing their part, and all you have described is 
enablement for accessibility and labeled it "Universal Accessibility". Let 
me explain, that; as you stated in the last paragraph: "all it needs is a 
relatively modern Web browser like Firefox that implements W3C ARIA and 
adaptive technology that has been updated to work with the event 
notifications raised by conformant AJAX applications". 

So, what you haven't said is that IE isn't yet a relatively modern browser 
like Firefox because it doesn't yet support W3C ARIA.  I agree that 
Microsoft IE should support ARIA, but my point is that it doesn't yet. So, 
to all those employees in real world jobs (not high tech ones like you at 
Google and me at IBM where we can have multiple copies of browsers 
installed, and maybe even mutiple laptops with Linux, Windows, and 
whatever), that have to wait till IE supports ARIA, what are they suppose 
to do?  What I tell their companies is that: "If they let them already 
install nonstandard adaptive technology, then why not let them install 
non-standard browsers and such too if it removes the barriers to 
accessibility?  The answer is, "Well, who's going to test it all to make 
sure it works and is supported?" Ah, good point.

You also didn't say that both JAWS and WindowEyes have been updated to 
support ARIA as implemented in Firefox, and that the Linux Screen Reader 
also supports ARIA as well.  So at least those users who have the 
permission to install and run Firefox or Linux will be able to benefit 
from the enablement you describe. With some education, outreach support, 
and affordability (funding) for the end users themselves, like making sure 
the user knows how to use mash-ups and configure things correctly, and can 
afford to make the upgrades - we have most of the right side of the stake 
holders covered.

Lets discuss the left side of the stake holders (the part before the 
content is conformant and published on a server).  We have the ARIA spec, 
check, we have the AxsJAX for injecting accessibility, check, and you have 
described mashing up (bringing together): "the XKCD sketches with the 
associated transcript to create a mashed-up view where the user gets to 
listen to the transcript while at the XKCD site", check.  But who 
(developers, service provider, content provider) is going to do all this? 
Where are the tools and motivations for them?

Today in the Web 1.0 world we have spec for things like alt="text" and XML 
for adding timed text to audio and video.  And we even have a good start 
at authoring tools and checking and repair tools to help the authors and 
developers to make the content conform to some basic standards.  But where 
are things on Web 2.0?  Even when the suport is implemented in IE, and 
even when the user has an "updated adaptive technology", somebody has to 
create the "conformant AJAX" application and someone has to create the 
"associated transcript", and they have to do it under budget and within 
the project deadline. 
So, back to ""If it works with a screenreader",  maybe is simplistisct, 
but I see it as a test of a more wholestic view because it considers the 
whole food chain, all of the stake holders, the complete supply and 
delivery cycle, and [insert your latest buzz word here], because at the 
end of the day if it doesn't work - its not accessible to the end user!
I do like the title of the post - leveraging Mashups for Accessibility, 
just didn't want any readers to thinks there is a silver bullet here. 
Reminds me of the old days when GUIs were first coming out and there was 
talk about how they were going to make things more universally accessible, 
or when the Web was introduced, or even proprietary technologies like PDF 
- my point being that until all the stake holders get lined up and do 
their part, enablement and leveraging is necessary and great, but not 
sufficient.  If it doesn't work in the adaptive technology, its not 
accessible to the end user.

Phill Jenkins
IBM Research - Human Ability & Accessibility Center

"T.V Raman" <raman@google.com> 
Sent by: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org
12/20/2007 04:31 PM


Leveraging Mashups For Accessibility:


Best Regards,

Title:  Research Scientist 
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Received on Friday, 21 December 2007 01:55:38 UTC

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