W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-comments-wcag20@w3.org > December 2005

About SC definitions under conformance

From: Sailesh Panchang <spanchang02@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 07:06:58 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <20051220150659.80255.qmail@web80903.mail.scd.yahoo.com>
To: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org
  1. Is there a need to define what is meant by “minimum accessibility” and “enhanced level of accessibility”?
  2. WCAG sets out standards (or guidelines) for WCA and is a guide to measure accessibility.  Conformance should measure accessibility levels and not how it is achieved. 
  The document might explain (not part of SC definition) that accessibility can be attained through:
  a. markup, scripting, or other technologies that interact with or enable access through user agents, including assistive technologies
  b. the design of the content and presentation     
  At present (a) and (b) above or the processes through which content is made accessible is being used to measure accessibility. One should be able to say whether minimum or enhanced accessibility levels are met by the content without reference to whether (a) or (b) is used. This assessment is important to the user, not the process through which this is accomplished.
  3. Consider guideline 1.4 for which no SC is available at level 1.
  The SC at level 2 states that a mechanism to turn off background audio that plays automatically is available. But if there is such background audio content, even minimum accessibility levels cannot be attained for a screen reader user who cannot listen to text being read out by the screen reading software. 
  Example at http://www.scit.wlv.ac.uk/~c9581158/main.html 
  (Compression Technology in Multimedia)
  Now one can turn off Play Sounds in IE’s accessibility options and the background music stops and text content is accessible without any disturbance. Therefore a feature built into user agent that interacts with the content marked up / authored in a particular way permits this minimum accessibility. If the author duplicates the browser’s feature   for turning off audio content, it is merely a “nice thing to have” and should not be a measure of accessibility. 
  On the other hand if content is authored in a manner that the browser’s feature to turn off sound is rendered ineffective, then the onus should be on the author to provide a feature to turn off sound and this   should be a minimum accessibility requirement or a level 1 requirement.
  I have expressed my discomfort with this approach of clubbing the processes for attaining accessibility in SC definition even during earlier drafts of WCAG2.
  4. Give examples to clarify differences between (a) and (b) above.
  For instance captions implemented through SMIL constitute "other technologies that interact with or enable access through user agents", referred to in (a), or do they constitute presentation referred to in (b)? 
  Sailesh Panchang
  Senior Accessibility  Specialist (Deque)
  Fairfax, VA

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Received on Tuesday, 20 December 2005 15:07:21 UTC

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