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Re: Success criteria speak for themselves

From: Wayne Dick <waynedick@knowbility.org>
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 13:58:36 -0800
Message-ID: <5305290C.3020400@knowbility.org>
To: Lucy Greco <lgreco@berkeley.edu>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Hello Lucy,

Well I was going to end this thread but your question is interesting. 
First, NVDA will read off lots of styles, but I turned off all of that 
because I couldn't concentrate. (To turn on reading font styles in NVDA 
do-- menu: preferences: document formatting: report font attributes)

Mostly I was thinking of visual semantics that would be more useful for 
partial sight.  However scanning from DFN element to DFN element could 
be a good search technique on professional literature.

What I am really thinking of ultimately is something like an ARIA role 
for style level semantics,   something like a "style guide" role.  It 
would not define a behavior like existing ARIA roles. Instead it would 
describe the relationship of visual style to meaning.  Such a role could 
have many states like "APH", "MLA" or Associated Press style guide to 
mention a few.  All such style guides would have various professional 
text structures that could be included as descendent roles.  Some of 
these style semantic objects already exist in HTML elements like 
headings and lists at the block level, and CITE and DFN at the text 
level. However, most style guides for professional reading have a much 
richer semantic structure like the components of bibliographic entries.  
Rather than expand HTML 5 with more elements, and impossible task, why 
not include richer document semantics using an ARIA like interface.

Here is an example of the semantic detail a style guide role could 
contain.  In a bibliographic element for an article there is an entry 
for the publication that contains it.  A containing publication role 
would be a searchable structure if it was part of an ARIA hierarchy.  
Maybe special landmark types would be all that was needed.

The point is this.  Professional documents for reading have many 
semantic elements that are generally represented by visual style. These 
are difficult to perceive and use for people with partial sight and 
invisible to people with no sight.

I got my PhD in Mathematics at UCSD with congenital partial sight and it 
was not easy.  Electronically accessible research articles with all the 
semantic cues available to fully sighted readers would have made 
research much easier.  Then I could have just concentrated on the 
mathematics without having to fight the medium.

With adequate semantic markers in professional articles, people with 
screen readers could use these markers one way, and people who needed 
text customization could use them another way.  People with dyslexia 
might find another way to use them altogether.  The point is, if they 
were there, we could use them for our own learning purposes.

Well that is where I am going.  I'll say more at CSUN.

Received on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 21:59:07 UTC

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