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Re: SVG and Screen Readers

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 9 Feb 2007 19:54:09 +0100
Message-ID: <1991628796.20070209195409@w3.org>
To: Doug Schepers <doug.schepers@vectoreal.com>
Cc: www-svg <www-svg@w3.org>

On Friday, February 9, 2007, 5:56:05 PM, Doug wrote:

DS> Hi-

DS> While SVG is designed with accessibility in mind, the accessibility User
DS> Agents do not seem to be taking advantage of this.

DS> For example, JAWS does not currently seem to have any support for SVG.
DS> I have just spoken to Freedom Scientific (the makers of JAWS) on the 
DS> phone, and sent them an email explaining how SVG should be used by JAWS,
DS> with an example file.

Thanks for contacting them.

I contacted GW Micro, makers of Window Eyes, back in September 2005
when it was announced that Window Eyes 5.5 beta 1 was supported in
Firefox 1.5 beta. I pointed out that Firefox 1.5 also switched on the
SVG support, and asked if they could provide accessibility help for
SVG as well as for HTML.

They did not seem to have considered this, were helpful, and explained
something of the hoops they have to go through to get information from
the document. This varies by platform and by browser. They use 'a
combination of MSAA and DOM access' in Firefox and in MSIE, both on
Windows; for some applications they have to fall back to screen
scraping. Their overall approach, however, they described as
proprietary, and they were unwilling to give too many details because
of the commercial sensitivity of the information.

I did point out about the XML DOM and how to get DOM access to SVG. I
think they were interested; but they also mentioned a problem with
Firefox - Firefox does not (or did not at that time) 'expose the SVG
DOM to them' so they couldn't use it. They mentioned that they were
working with some Firefox contacts to get that resolved.

I would be interested to know if that issue has since been resolved.

DS> It should be very easy for them to add such support.  I encourage 
DS> interested parties to write them and let them know that you want support
DS> for SVG.

Yes, good idea.

I'm also interested to hear about DOM based screenreaders (as opposed
to screenscraping or other methods).

 Chris Lilley                    mailto:chris@w3.org
 Interaction Domain Leader
 Co-Chair, W3C SVG Working Group
 W3C Graphics Activity Lead
 Co-Chair, W3C Hypertext CG
Received on Friday, 9 February 2007 18:54:40 UTC

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