W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ua@w3.org > July to September 2000

Re: Are Small Text buttons level 2 compliant

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2000 12:19:40 -0700
Message-Id: <4.2.0.58.20000926121029.00afad20@garth.idyllmtn.com>
To: "Leonard R. Kasday" <kasday@acm.org>
Cc: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>, "w3c-wai-gl@w3.org" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, WAI ER group <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>, WAI UA group <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
At 10:59 AM 9/26/2000 , Leonard R. Kasday wrote:
>Kynn
>Glad you raised that points (really) because I'm sure other people, people perhaps more shy than yourself, are thinking the same thing.

There are people more shy than me?

>First of all, the lawyerly position: Doesn't matter what technologies are available: the guidelines say what they say, so the statement that something violates a checkpoint is true regardless.

Ah, but when you get to lawyerly arguments, you have two choices.
One, you can argue that you did or did not adhere to the letter
of the law.  Secondly, however, you can argue that _the law
itself is flawed_.  WCAG is going to be undergoing revision very
soon, and it's possible that this very issue will be addressed.
When _should_ you use textual graphics, and how do you use them
accessibly?

>But we can do better than that.
>I don't think using a screen magnifier is as good as enlarging fonts.

Yes, but I don't think that a screenreader is as good as providing
a RealAudio stream.

1.  When you use a screenreader, you have a lot less control over
     the specific voice that is read out loud.  This has the 
     effect of losing "branding" on a web site and making everything
     in the world speak with one tone.

2.  A screenreader, even with aural CSS, cannot adequately convey
     the subtleties of human speech -- the particular intonations,
     subtle hint of a smile, emphasis on the right words -- that
     a real person can provide.  This allows for the true intent
     of the author to be provided to the audience.

3.  Screenreaders are expensive and represent an economic barrier
     to entry for web users which is eliminated if you use streaming
     audio; audio players are cheap or free, while screenreaders are
     expensive pieces of software.

>In short, direct control of font, size, and color of all text is better than a magnifier.

In short, a streaming audio file is better than a screenreader.

Of course, that's not really my point.  (Please, nobody argue on
the merits of streaming media vs screenreaders.)  My point is that
we accept there is no need for web authors to account for non-
visual output because the screenreader software exists and is
available.  Granted, it's not the _best_ way to get that information
to those users, but it seems to work.  Why do we believe that the
current technologies don't work here?

>As for turning off images to see the alt text versions of the buttons: well, then the person with low vision is missing other images on the screen, images which may be used appropriately.

That's a browser issue; a user agent should allow you to selectively
view and not view specific items, and there should be a keystroke
command or a context menu item which says "Magnify Image" to allow
each individual button to be blown up large enough to read. :)

-- 
Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                    http://kynn.com/
Director of Accessibility, Edapta               http://www.edapta.com/
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet   http://www.idyllmtn.com/
AWARE Center Director                      http://www.awarecenter.org/
Accessibility Roundtable Web Broadcast           http://kynn.com/+on24
What's on my bookshelf?                         http://kynn.com/books/
Received on Tuesday, 26 September 2000 15:51:46 GMT

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