W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > October to December 2011

RE: Exclusion of Visual Readers with Low Vision form WCAG 2.0 and the 508 Revise

From: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2011 14:43:48 -0700 (PDT)
To: "'Wayne Dick'" <wayneedick@operamail.com>, <wed@csulb.edu>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <04d701cc8ddf$04601190$0d2034b0$@edu>
(A concatenated response is provided at the end of this threaded response)

Wayne Dick wrote:
> 
> Regarding WCAG WG: Two years ago the WCAG WG held a meeting on the
> request of a vendor who provides ridiculous access for low vision.  The
> WCAG WG concluded that SC 1.3.1 did not refer to access to typography.
> Even though the definition of Assistive Technology (in the Glossary, a
> normative section) explicitly calls out font style, font size, spacing
> and colors access as exemplars of assistive technologies for print
> disabiities, the WCAG WG does not consider access to change these
> components of pages to be part of  accessibility support for SC 1.3.1.

Wayne,

Access to "change these components" is clearly defined and mandated in
UAAG (which I previously quoted) and Chapter 4 of the Section 508 Refresh.
Authoring content that *can be modified* by the end-user is rightly part
of WCAG; consuming software and how that software supports accessibly
authored content is covered in other documents. It's a collection of
requirements, not a single document, that guides laws and legislation. You
are looking for something that already exists, but you seem to refuse to
accept that it does exist, but not in a document you want it to be in.


> Basically that means that the most meaningful accommodation for Visual
> Readers with low vision is off the table.

UAAG:
"1.7.2 User Style Sheets::  If one or more user style sheets are defined,
the user has the following options: (Level A) 
   (a) select and apply one or more user style sheets, or 
   (b) turn off user style sheets."

Section 508 (refresh), Chapter 4, Section 409.2:
"User Preferences.  
	Applications shall provide a mode of operation that uses user
preferences for platform settings for color, contrast, font type, font
size, and focus cursor."

How is this taking accommodation for VR/LV users "off the table"?

> 
> With serious disagreement from the WCAG WG about the necessity of
> typographic access, no court case or structured negotiation has a
> realistic chance.  No law will be written to include this. It kills the
> legal environment because the leading web accessibility organization
> excludes this class of disability.  It was a devastating loss.

This is simply a false assumption. I have provided you with the language
that exists, both at the W3C (who ONCE AGAIN, have no legal mandate or
powers), as well as language in the Section 508 draft that clearly state
that end users must have the ability to change their style sheets. If you
want to refuse to accept that language as being what you require, then
lobby your elected representatives to invoke stronger language. Beating on
the W3C as the villain might make you feel good, but it does no good in
addressing the problem.

> 
> Had I known that WCAG considered access to typography to be excluded
> from accessibility support for separation of information and structure
> from content, I would have voted against WCAG 2.0. 

There is no voting at the W3C (well, rarely) as they build their
Recommendations using the consensus model. Consensus does not mean
unanimity however.

> My guess is that
> many people WCAG 2.0 assumed like me that the access to change
> typography was part of accessibility support for SC 1.3.1, and they
> voted for WCAG 2.0 by mistake.  The normative Glossary certainly gave
> the impression that access to typography was a part of WCAG 2.0.  I am
> angry.  Not crazy angry, but angry.

But you are angry without cause. The requirement for users to have the
ability to programmatically change their style-sheets is addressed at the
W3C via WAI's UAAG, and within Section 508 under Chapter 4 (but not
Chapter 5). 

You can argue that it should be in Chapter 5 and not Chapter 4, or that it
should be in WCAG and not UAAG, but stating that the support is not there
is simply false. Read all the documents, not just a selective few that you
think have holes.


> 
> Right not WCAG 2.0 does not cover the needs of almost half of the
> people
> with visual disabilities.  It covers blindness well, but its silence on
> high visually functioning people with low vision will encourage silence
> in laws that use WCAG 2.0.  Read the 508 Revise on low vision.  There
> is
> no detail on restructuring the visual environment.  There is a rather
> vague statement about being able to support visual acuity of 20/200.
> Well, that is blindness.

Read Section 508 Chapter 4 - please. It makes no distinction on the visual
acuity of *any* user: it simply refers to "users" and mandates that they
have the ability to modify "user preferences for platform settings for
color, contrast, font type, font size, and focus cursor."

> 
> Some change really is necessary because it is getting harder and harder
> to create a friendly visual environment.

I have previously stated that this is an authoring issue first and
foremost. Neither you, nor I, nor Uncle Sam are going to magically change
the fact that some authors will continue to create inaccessible content.
That sucks, I agree, but I have no idea how we can change that outside of
education, education, education.


> 
> I am sorry I cannot answer you in a more point to point way, but
> chopping up quotes the way you do makes reading in a large print
> environment very difficult. 

I apologize for that Wayne. By responding to your points systematically,
it makes it easier to discuss the various points you raise. It was not my
intention to make it harder for you to parse.

> I do my best to read it carefully once I
> get the email into a form I can read better.
> 
> Wayne




*****************************

Concatenated (and slightly edited) response:

(I apologize for that threaded response Wayne. By responding to your
points systematically, it makes it easier to discuss the various points
you raise. It was not my intention to make it harder for you to parse.)

Wayne,

Access to "change these components" is clearly defined and mandated in
UAAG (which I previously quoted) and Chapter 4 of the Section 508 Refresh.
Authoring content that *can be modified* by the end-user is rightly part
of WCAG; consuming software and how that software supports accessibly
authored content is covered in other documents. It's a collection of
requirements, not a single document, that guides laws and legislation. You
are looking for something that already exists, but you seem to refuse to
accept that it does exist, but not in a document you want it to be in.

UAAG:
"1.7.2 User Style Sheets::  If one or more user style sheets are defined,
the user has the following options: (Level A) 
   (a) select and apply one or more user style sheets, or 
   (b) turn off user style sheets."

Section 508 (refresh), Chapter 4, Section 409.2:
"User Preferences.  
	Applications shall provide a mode of operation that uses user
preferences for platform settings for color, contrast, font type, font
size, and focus cursor."

How is this taking accommodation for VR/LV users "off the table"?

This is simply a false assumption. I have provided you with the language
that exists, both at the W3C (who ONCE AGAIN, have no legal mandate or
powers), as well as language in the Section 508 draft that clearly state
that end users must have the ability to change their style sheets. If you
want to refuse to accept that language as being what you require, then
lobby your elected representatives to invoke stronger language. Beating on
the W3C as the villain might make you feel good, but it does no good in
addressing the problem.

There is no voting at the W3C (well, rarely) as they build their
Recommendations using the consensus model. Consensus does not mean
unanimity however.

(But) you are angry without cause. The requirement for users to have the
ability to programmatically change their style-sheets is addressed at the
W3C via WAI's UAAG, and within Section 508 under Chapter 4 (but not
Chapter 5). 

You can argue that it should be in Chapter 5 and not Chapter 4, or that it
should be in WCAG and not UAAG, but stating that the support is not there
is simply false. Read all the documents, not just a selective few that you
think have holes.

Read Section 508 Chapter 4 - please. It makes no distinction on the visual
acuity of *any* user: it simply refers to "users" and mandates that they
have the ability to modify "...user preferences for platform settings for
color, contrast, font type, font size, and focus cursor."

I have previously stated that this is an authoring issue first and
foremost. Neither you, nor I, nor Uncle Sam are going to magically change
the fact that some authors will continue to create inaccessible content.
That sucks, I agree, but I have no idea how we can change that outside of
education, education, education.


JF
Received on Tuesday, 18 October 2011 21:44:28 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Tuesday, 18 October 2011 21:44:28 GMT