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RE: Time Limit Methods for Native Mobile

From: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2014 09:44:10 -0800
To: "'Julie Romanowski'" <julie.romanowski.l87g@statefarm.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <024701d00357$4297b120$c7c71360$@ca>
Julie Romanowski wrote:
> The developer is relying on the system alert (banner) to notify the
> user, and believes that this meets the requirement. A couple of my
> accessibility resources argue that this method does not meet 2.2.1
> requirements, and feel that the developer should use an alert dialog
> within the application.

Hi Julie, one man's opinion follows:

First, I am not as up on Android Native development as I wish I were, so I 
will start by asking a question: does the "system alert (banner)" capture 
focus when initiated? i.e. does it behave like a region with aria-live 
activated? If the answer is yes (and I will presume that is so), then I think 
you are good to go.

> While the method the developer is using does not follow any of the
> listed techniques for 2.2.1, the method does appear to allow the user
> to adjust the time limit by accessing the notification bar in Android.
> Seeing as WCAG requirements can be met using techniques other than
> those listed in W3C's Techniques for WCAG 2.0 document, would relying
> on the Android banner be an acceptable way to conform?

Yup! The whole point of WCAG2 was to try and avoid being prescriptive, in 
favor of descriptive: explain what the outcome needs to be (and why), and then 
let the developers develop techniques to meet those clearly defined required 

For example, Guideline 1.1 Text Alternatives states "Provide text alternatives 
for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people 
need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language." - 
OK, so that's the requirement, but *HOW* can you do that? Obviously using @alt 
is one way, but so is using @aria-label, @aria-labelledby, @longdesc, 
@aria-describedby... so you see, as long as you use an "accessibility 
supported" method (i.e. it's going to work for your targeted audience), then I 
believe the spirit and intent of WCAG 2 was to allow for other workable 
techniques to emerge.

In fact, if you/your developers come up with another way of "skinning the 
cat", and you've tested it and are sure it isn't leaving some behind, then I 
would encourage you to submit all of that to the WCAG Working Group 
(http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/) who meet weekly to review just this type of thing. 
The new technique may be added to the Techniques documentation.

> I want to be sure that I'm addressing an actual Level A violation, not
> just a best practice issue, and would appreciate any input this group
> could provide.

Well, again, this is just my opinion, and IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer), but for 
me at least, accessibility is about successful outcomes, and if this new 
techniques satisfies the requirement, I would give it a pass.


John Foliot
Web Accessibility Specialist
W3C Invited Expert - Accessibility
Co-Founder, Open Web Camp
Received on Tuesday, 18 November 2014 17:44:52 UTC

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