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Rough comparison of UAAG 1.0 and section 508 requirements for software applications

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 18:29:47 -0500
Message-ID: <3AC516EB.EF0C63AF@w3.org>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Hello,

Below I (roughly and rapidly) compare the user agent requirements of
section 508 [1] with those of UAAG 1.0 (the 23 March draft [2]).  I
think that our requirements are very similar in most cases, though
expressed differently. Two differences stand out:

1) We don't have a requirement to turn off blinking/flashing in the
UI. I note that we have explicitly chosen *not* to include this
requirement for the user interface. We discussed whether our content
requirements should be extended to the user interface in general, and
decided against this. [I don't have the URI handy for the decision
but could track it down.]

2) We don't have a requirement for consistency among images used
   in the UI (though I think that checkpoint 7.3 probably covers
   that).

Please note the following:

 a) This is not a definitive analysis.
 b) I'm not proposing any changes to UAAG 1.0.
 c) I don't think we should include this type of comparison in 
    UAAG 1.0 because this is just one country's regulation.

 - Ian

[1] http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/508standards.htm
    Refer to " 1194.21 Software applications and operating systems"
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ua/2001JanMar/0555

-- 
Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783

===================

<508>
(a) When software is designed to run on a system that has a keyboard,
product functions shall be executable from a keyboard where the
function itself or the result of performing a function can be
discerned textually.
</508>

<UAAG>
1.1 Ensure that the user can operate the user agent fully through
keyboard input alone. [Priority 1] Both content and user
agent. 

Comment: We *always* require keyboard support.
</UAAG>

===================

<508>
(b) Applications shall not disrupt or disable activated features of
other products that are identified as accessibility features, where
those features are developed and documented according to industry
standards. Applications also shall not disrupt or disable activated
features of any operating system that are identified as accessibility
features where the application programming interface for those
accessibility features has been documented by the manufacturer of the
operating system and is available to the product developer.
</508>

<UAAG>
7.1 Follow operating environment conventions that benefit
accessibility when implementing the selection, content focus, and user
interface focus. [Priority 1]

7.2 Ensure that default input configurations do not interfere with
operating environment accessibility conventions. [Priority 1]

7.3 Follow operating environment conventions that benefit
accessibility. In particular, follow conventions that benefit
accessibility for user interface design, keyboard configuration,
product installation, and documentation.

7.4 Follow operating environment conventions to indicate the input
configuration. [Priority 2]
</UAAG>

===================

<508>
(c) A well-defined on-screen indication of the current focus shall be
provided that moves among interactive interface elements as the input
focus changes. The focus shall be programmatically exposed so that
assistive technology can track focus and focus changes.
<508>

<UAAG>
10.6 Provide a mechanism for highlighting the selection and content
focus. Allow the user to configure the highlight styles. The highlight
mechanism must not rely on color alone. For graphical viewports, if
the highlight mechanism involves colors or text decorations, allow the
user to choose from among the full range of colors or text decorations
supported by the operating environment. [Priority 1] 

6.5 Using standard APIs, provide programmatic alert of changes to
content, user interface controls, selection, content focus, and user
interface focus. [Priority 1]
</UAAG>

===================

<508>
(d) Sufficient information about a user interface element including
the identity, operation and state of the element shall be available to
assistive technology. When an image represents a program element, the
information conveyed by the image must also be available in text.
</508>

<UAAG> 
6.4 Provide programmatic read and write access to user agent user
interface controls. [Priority 1] 

1.2 Ensure that every message (e.g., prompt, alert, notification,
etc.) that is a non-text element and is part of the user agent user
interface has a text equivalent. [Priority 1] 
</UAAG>

===================

<508>
(e) When bitmap images are used to identify controls, status
indicators, or other programmatic elements, the meaning assigned to
those images shall be consistent throughout an application's
performance.
</508>

<UAAG>

Comment: No corresponding requirement. However, consistency in the UI
is probably covered by checkpoint 7.3:

7.3 Follow operating environment conventions that benefit
accessibility. In particular, follow conventions that benefit
accessibility for user interface design, keyboard configuration,
product installation, and documentation. [Priority 2]
</UAAG>
===================

<508>
(f) Textual information shall be provided through operating system
functions for displaying text. The minimum information that shall be
made available is text content, text input caret location, and text
attributes.
</508>

<UAAG>
6.6 Implement standard accessibility APIs (e.g., of the operating
environment). Where these APIs do not enable the user agent to satisfy
the requirements of this document, use the standard input and output
APIs of the operating environment. [Priority 1]

6.8 For an API implemented to satisfy requirements of this document,
support the character encodings required for that API. [Priority 1]

Comment: UAAG doesn't have any requirements related to a text input
caret. Access to all (text) content is covered by checkpoints in
Guideline 2.  
</UAAG>


===================

<508>
(g) Applications shall not override user selected contrast and color
selections and other individual display attributes.
</508>

<UAAG>
Comment: The checkpoints of Guideline 4 require configuration and
control
of color, text size, playback rates, some audio characteristics,
and some speech characteristics. UAAG does not include a general
requirement that user preferences override all author preferences
or user agent defaults.
</UAAG>

===================

<508>
(h) When animation is displayed, the information shall be displayable
in at least one non-animated presentation mode at the option of the
user.
</508>

<UAAG>
Comment: This is an interesting one because it sounds like an authoring
requirement to me. Our checkpoints for control of animation
(including video, animated images, and animated text) are:
3.2, 3.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.7, and 4.8.
</UAAG>

===================

<508>
(i) Color coding shall not be used as the only means of conveying
information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or
distinguishing a visual element.
</508>

<UAAG>
10.2 Ensure that all of the default highlight styles for the
selection, content focus, enabled elements, recently visited links,
and fee links (1) do not rely on color alone, and (2) differ from each
other, and not by color alone. [Priority 1]

10.6 Provide a mechanism for highlighting the selection and content
focus. Allow the user to configure the highlight styles. The highlight
mechanism must not rely on color alone. For graphical viewports, if
the highlight mechanism involves colors or text decorations, allow the
user to choose from among the full range of colors or text decorations
supported by the operating environment. [Priority 1]

10.7 Provide a mechanism for highlighting the viewport with the
current focus. For graphical viewports, the default highlight
mechanism must not rely on color alone. [Priority 1]

Comment: I also expect checkpoint 7.3 will cover other user
interface elements: 

7.3 Follow operating environment conventions that benefit
accessibility. In particular, follow conventions that benefit
accessibility for user interface design, keyboard configuration,
product installation, and documentation.
</UAAG>

===================

<508>
(j) When a product permits a user to adjust color and contrast
settings, a variety of color selections capable of producing a range
of contrast levels shall be provided.
</508>

<UAAG>
Comment: All of our color requirements refer to "the full range
of colors supported by the operating environment."
</UAAG>

===================

<508>
(k) Software shall not use flashing or blinking text, objects, or
other elements having a flash or blink frequency greater than 2 Hz and
lower than 55 Hz.
</508>

<UAAG>
3.3 Allow configuration to render animated or blinking text as
motionless, unblinking text. [Priority 1]

Comment: We have explicitly chosen *not* to include this
requirement for the user interface. We discussed whether our
content requirements should be extended to the user interface
in general, and decided against this.
</UAAG>

===================

<508>
(l) When electronic forms are used, the form shall allow people using
assistive technology to access the information, field elements, and
functionality required for completion and submission of the form,
including all directions and cues.
</508>

<UAAG>
2.1 For all format specifications that the user agent implements, make
content available through the rendering processes described by those
specifications. [Priority 1] 

Comment: Checkpoint 2.3 is also relevant.

5.4 Allow configuration to prompt the user to confirm (or cancel) any
form submission that is not caused by an explicit user request to
activate a form submit control.
</UAAG>

-- 
Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Friday, 30 March 2001 18:29:49 GMT

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