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Re: high contrast and background images

From: Wayne Dick <wed@csulb.edu>
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2010 01:18:21 -0400
Message-ID: <AANLkTilnd9YZr3QVOodEPqjylfB-DRfsovIAq7fLL9hg@mail.gmail.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
To everyone,

I am concerned about this discussion because it really doesn't seem
address the issue.  People with low vision change the visual settings
whenever it is possible. Most of the color patterns that are popular
on the web are painful to someone in this group.  When I say painful,
I mean this literally.  When you have the wrong style it hurts a lot.

High contrast is just one of many color schemes that people use.  The
color schemes vary wild from person to person.  The reason is that low
vision is caused by many things.  One style does not fit all.  It
would be like expecting one chemo-therapy cure all cancer.  All you
have to do is miss one factor to make a page unreadable or painful.

High contrast works well for people with low vision caused by macular
degeneration.  It doesn't work well for many other retinitis
conditions.  It actually hurts. The nice thing is that separation of
content from presentation enables all these choices.

Some considerate operating systems let users make the choice of
environmental style.  Windows is one.  It is the difference between
usable and not usable for many users with low vision.  Allowing users
to pass on their system choices is a minimal level of access that
everyone should provide.

For many people the only choice is to remove some or all of the
author's style choices.  The best choice is to just honor the user's
choices in color, font family and font size.  A really well build
system allows the user to choose their own line, word and character
spacing.  Carrying document content in style is dangerous.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find enough code to evaluate if the Thierry
code.  Maybe it works, but given the set style settings I have built
for my friends with low vision, I might be able to find a hole.

Blind people and people with profound low vision are not the only
people who cannot read standard print effectively.  Here are some
reasonable questions to answer:

Does standard enlargement in browsers work on this text eg, Ctl+  in Firefox?

Is the text present and visible  when you remove style altogether?

Can the user apply a style sheet that basically erases the author's
style, and replaces it with a new one?  Say something like, "*
{position: static !important}".  That is a standard step if you want
to linearize a page.

Wayne Dick
Received on Monday, 14 June 2010 05:18:54 GMT

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