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

From: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2011 19:24:00 -0400
Message-ID: <35717a282ac170a84ef9d7bc1a0b6a21@mail.gmail.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
[John wrote] Access to "change these components" is clearly defined and
mandated in UAAG

I think Wayne's concern is that governments are using WCAG 2 as a model
but not considering UAAG.   WCAG 2 does not address certain areas such as
operating systems, some software, telecommunications, etc. Governments
need to address a more comprehensive plan for accessibility that includes
items such as those in Section 508 and UAAG and not just harmonization
with WCAG 2.

[John wrote] 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."

Section 508 has already had this language but programs such as Acrobat
that are in every government agency do not allow for some of the settings.
Theoretically a PDF application could pull the tagged structure out of a
document and generate such an accessible view but I'm not aware of one.
The PDF/3 specification that allows for XML structure hopefully will
facilitate this.    EPUB seems to be a good direction toward this type of
access but it once again does not address these issues.

I believe part of Wayne's frustration may be aimed at these issues with
current PDF viewers on the market.

In the past I did have some concerns with WCAG 2 techniques that seem to
lean heavily toward access for screen readers.  Some of the language was
updated in the non-normative documents e.g. to more clearly indicate that
alternative to color must be indicated visually and not just

A big area that think is currently lacking is coordination between user
agents and ARIA HTML 5.  For example,  indication of programmatic focus
including location for the aria-activedescendant attribute.  User agents
need to render that that element as the active element with programmatic
focus and exposure of location coordinates of that element to assist
proper tracking for screen magnification software.  In my opinion this
needs to be mapped into MSAA for Windows and whatever other accessibility
APIs exist for the given platform.  Perhaps this is something that can be
addressed in UAAG 2.0.

Received on Tuesday, 18 October 2011 23:24:36 UTC

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