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Re: Text in background images from CSS

From: Sofia Celic-Li <sofiacelic@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 11:48:29 -0700
Message-ID: <AANLkTi=FDv1CdRSoWMB9u2hjejoBRMjoxRcOrQ5SdmpR@mail.gmail.com>
To: wed@csulb.edu
Cc: W3C WAI ig <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hi Wayne,

Thank you for providing such a detailed example of the difficulties you face
as a low vision user. This will help me convince those who need convincing
that accessibility is about more than screen reader users.

My understanding is that while an author's CSS will override a user's CSS
most of the time, this is not the case when it comes to !important. Here is
a quote from the CSS 2 specification: "Both author and user style sheets may
contain "!important" declarations, and user "!important" rules override
author "!important" rules."

You can read about this and view their example at

It seems that the browser you are using has incorrectly implemented the
cascade rules. Which browser and OS are you using?


On Sat, Jul 24, 2010 at 11:40 AM, Wayne Dick <wayneedick@gmail.com> wrote:

>  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.
>  Wayne
Received on Monday, 26 July 2010 18:49:01 UTC

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