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Re: accessibility as a first principle (was: Re: New Telcon Time: Vote!)

From: David Storey <dstorey@opera.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Mar 2009 12:00:07 +0100
Cc: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <oedipus@hicom.net>, Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>, SVG IG List <public-svg-ig@w3.org>, janina@rednote.net, www-archive@w3.org
Message-Id: <2867367E-DC9B-4CCD-BAEF-4B05FFDF5BF3@opera.com>
To: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>

On 9 Mar 2009, at 11:51, Robin Berjon wrote:

> Heya all,
>
> I'd like to de-escalate from some of the negative bits of this  
> discussion and try to focus on things that could lead to concrete  
> improvements for all.
>
> On Mar 6, 2009, at 23:19 , Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
>> i'm not sure i understand why citing WCAG 2.0 is "unfair" or "hitting
>> below the belt" -- WCAG compliance SHOULD, nay MUST (and that is an
>> RFC2119 MUST)
>
> It may not have been your intention, which is fine since we've all  
> made such mistakes, but your email came across as insinuating that  
> Doug and Cameron don't care about accessibility, which is what Doug  
> thought was unfair. It's an experimental tool, and they thought it  
> was marked up in a way that would make it accessible. It turns out  
> that it's not, and that's a bug, but filing a simple bug report  
> would have sufficed and probably been more effective than ascribing  
> intentions.
>
> So, in order to make this constructive, do you have concrete ideas  
> on how to make a n by n table of multi-valued options accessible?  
> ARIA's a start, but I'm not sure it is powerful enough yet to do  
> that (I'd be happy to be proven wrong though). I can see two things  
> coming out of this: either there is a good way to make this  
> accessible, in which case it needs to be written up and published  
> (I'm guessing as one of those blog posts that W3C puts out that  
> outline specific uses for W3C technology); or there isn't in which  
> case the technology to do so needs to be specified (perhaps by  
> putting this example up as a use case for ARIA 2.0).

I've asked a couple of Opera’s accessibility experts that are on my  
team if they can look into this.  It isn't particularly easy apparently.
>
>> even if every one of my suggestions as regards w3c
>> publication rules and accessibility are concerned are implemented,  
>> they
>> won't really help anyone unless there is an accompanying "About This
>> Document" section that describes in full what the stylistic  
>> conventions
>> are -- for example, it is impossible for me to search for "red" text
>> because i don't have any reason to believe that the text is anything
>> particular color, but if i am pre-informed of the stylistic  
>> conventions
>
> This seems like a low-hanging fruit that could be picked. W3C  
> specifications only use so many conventions, and the pubrules  
> validator can enforce that a given section be present in all  
> documents. If there is a regular issue in making W3C specifications  
> accessible, then it needs to be solved and enforced across all  
> publications. The technology side is easy, we just need a set of  
> agreed-upon conventions (that doesn't need to be exhaustive in its  
> first iteration, I'm guessing that any improvement would be welcome  
> here).
>
>> if accessibility and device independence are NOT considered before a
>> tool or publication rules are deployed, then the WAI and the W3C have
>> failed in a crucial part of its mission -- to make the web usable by
>> everyone, everywhere, no matter what modality they are using to  
>> interact
>> with the web...
>
> There's a difference between not considering, and considering but  
> failing to deliver. I'd flip the issue around: if W3C staff and  
> chairs who are not educated about and onboard with making sure  
> everything is accessible but also technically very competent fail to  
> make at least some parts of their work accessible, how are we going  
> to get Joe Web Hacker to produce accessible content?
>
> Accessibility testing is hard and resource-intensive. The W3C has  
> the chance that it has a strong and vibrant community around WAI,  
> and this synergy should be used. You've listed two accessibility  
> issues in this discussion (polling and specs), how can they be  
> improved, and where they are how can we communicate about them?
>
> -- 
> Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/
>    Feel like hiring me? Go to http://robineko.com/
>
>
>
>
>

David Storey

Chief Web Opener / Product Manager, Opera Presto / Product Manager,  
Opera Dragonfly
W3C WG:  Mobile Web Best Practices / SVG Interest Group

Opera Software ASA, Oslo, Norway
Mobile: +47 94 22 02 32
Received on Monday, 9 March 2009 11:01:12 UTC

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