W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > December 2012

Re: CSS issue: Need control of what is perceived by which technologies

From: James Craig <jcraig@apple.com>
Date: Fri, 07 Dec 2012 08:48:36 -0800
Message-id: <BA0CE8E5-7CAD-40F5-9154-D8AB9B913CDD@apple.com>
Cc: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
To: Antony Kennedy <antony@silversquid.com>
Please note that this list is for discussion of “what the CSS spec should be” which is usually several steps ahead of “what CSS can I use *today* to solve problem X.” 

Even though your request can’t be done in a browser today, the best way to get something into a rendering engine is to file a bug, and potentially contribute a patch, and the best way to get something into the CSS spec is to discuss it here.

Also, since you mentioned not knowing of any screen reader that uses CSS 3 Speech, VoiceOver on iOS supports at least some of it. The values of the speak property: literal-punctuation, digits, etc. come to mind, and there was a demo in the WWDC 2011 video, “Combining Accessibility and Automation on iOS” which should be available as a free download—mobile now, or I’d include a link.

Note: This support was added about a month before speak was split into two properties: speak and speak-as. I found it surprising that the 2011 draft would change it so drastically, especially considering there had not been an updated draft since 2004.


On Dec 7, 2012, at 5:57 AM, Antony Kennedy <antony@silversquid.com> wrote:

>>> If this were true, then "speech" media would be completely useless.  I
>>> believe browsers can tell when a page is being read by AT, and can
>>> provide customized information for it.  (I could be wrong, though...)
> 
> 
> At the moment, the "speech" media *is* completely useless. I don't know of a single ScreenReader that pays attention to it. Am I mistaken?
> 
> If so, please let me know how I can achieve what I'm after with a real world example.
> 
> On 26 Nov 2012, at 20:08, James Craig <jcraig@apple.com> wrote:
> 
>> On Nov 26, 2012, at 10:01 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>>> On Mon, Nov 19, 2012 at 2:58 AM, Antony Kennedy <antony@silversquid.com> wrote:
>>>> Is this something that can be sensibly achieved with media queries?  @media
>>>> not speech and  @media speech seem like they should work great here.
>>>> However, the screen reader attaches to the output of the browser (what the
>>>> browser sends via Operating System APIs) and not the browser itself, so when
>>>> the browser is parsing the CSS it never understands to expose or not expose
>>>> these pieces. aria attributes work correctly here though, so there must be a
>>>> solution!
>>> 
>>> If this were true, then "speech" media would be completely useless.  I
>>> believe browsers can tell when a page is being read by AT, and can
>>> provide customized information for it.  (I could be wrong, though...)
>> 
>> 
>> AT is a broad term and browsers cannot detect all forms, though providing customized information on a per-AT case is usually unnecessary. 
>> 
>> I don't think a new "perceivable" property is necessary here, because I believe the @media type query fits well here:
>> 
>>    element::before { content: ":"; }
>>    @media speech or reader { element::before { content: ""; } }
>> 
>> In this case, the UA should just not expose the text contents of the pseudo-element to the accessibility API, or mark it in the API as decorative or otherwise hidden.
>> 
>> I think what Antony is requesting is that the CSS spec should state something explicit to that effect.
>> 
>> James
> 
Received on Friday, 7 December 2012 16:49:59 GMT

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