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Text in background images from CSS

From: Wayne Dick <wayneedick@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 2010 11:40:41 -0700
Message-ID: <AANLkTinRxRWWE0RxWoWpYi_tfaKZ_jMdvRKirMFtX+ip@mail.gmail.com>
To: W3C WAI ig <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
 I ran into a page that had its primary operational menu identified
visually by a background image.  The HTML actually had the text, but
the style for the text set, " height = 0 !important;" for the text.

I use a style sheet to adjust color for most pages that hurt my eyes:

It reads:

* {    background-color: #89786A !important;
       background-image: none  !important;
       background-position: 0% 0%  !important;
       background-repeat: repeat  !important;
       color: #000000 !important;
       line-height: 1.3 !important;

I also modify anchor text colors to contrast the new background color
#89786A and stand out from other text.

Removing the authors background image is necessary, because many
authors choose backgrounds that are painful to my eyes.

In my case the order of the cascade makes it impossible to insert
something like:
[height=0] {height = auto !important;} to make the authors text
visible for me.

The reason is the author's use of !important.

A screen reader can read this, but I cannot see it.  There is
reasonable access for blindness but not for low vision.

My work around is this.

I use my style sheet to avoid serious headaches, eye pain and nausea.
Then I have memorized the order of the menu items.  I tab through the
menu, and when it reaches the second empty box I select the item. I
don't really use the others.

I still can't understand why the CSS working group insists on the
author's style sheet overriding the user's style sheet.  It makes use
of CSS for visual accessibility difficult.  But, the use of !important
in an author's style she simply makes visual accessibility with style
sheets impossible.

Now that authors are carrying text in background images, irreversible
style choices for making alternative text invisible should not be
allowed.  I think it violates 1.1.1.

Remember. Just because it is accessible through voice output does not
mean it is accessible for people who are not blind but have serious
visual impairments.  This example illustrates the point.

Received on Saturday, 24 July 2010 18:41:14 UTC

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