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Re: WCAG 2 response to WG response

From: Loretta Guarino Reid <lorettaguarino@google.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2007 15:31:39 -0800
Message-ID: <824e742c0712111531m27e50111saa825de974e621a1@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Roger Hudson" <rhudson@usability.com.au>
Cc: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org

We agree that consumers are not always aware of all the accessibility
features in browsers and operating systems.  There are also users who
do not have access to software.  However, we feel there is a limit to
the extent to which authors should have to make up for limitations on
users awareness or skills with tools that are available to them. In
this case we do not feel that this provision should be a level A
provision since the need can be met with techniques available to the


Loretta Guarino Reid, WCAG WG Co-Chair
Gregg Vanderheiden, WCAG WG Co-Chair
Michael Cooper, WCAG WG Staff Contact

On behalf of the WCAG Working Group

> Comment 2: contrast ratio SC level
> Source:
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-comments-wcag20/2007Jun/0273.html
> (Issue ID: 2103)
> ----------------------------
> Original Comment:
> ----------------------------
> 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum): Text (and images of text) have a contrast
> ratio of at least 5:1, except if the text is pure decoration.
> Larger-scale text or images of text can have a contrast ratio of 3:1.
> (Level AA)
> Comment: My comments relating to this issue last year suggested the
> Level should be increased to A. I was advised in general terms by the
> working group that the issue was discussed but no specific response to
> my comment was provided.
> I believe this is a significant accessibility issue since in my work I
> have observed many people (including sizable proportion of the older
> population)experience difficulties in differentiating between
> foreground and background colours used on websites.
> Proposed Change:
> 1.4.3 should be at Level A
> ---------------------------------------------
> Response from Working Group:
> ---------------------------------------------
> There are a number of ways that text can be made visible by people who
> have trouble with low contrast. Many OS's have a high contrast mode
> which makes the entire desktop high contrast, or a high contrast
> "highlight" feature such than any 'selected' text is highlighted in
> high contrast. There are also tools that will increase the contrast
> for people with colorblindness. As a result there are strategies for
> those with colorblindness or who need high contrast.
> 5:1 contrast is limiting on design with the availability of tools the
> working group felt that this provision was best at level AA.
> We did consider a lower bar at level A but felt that would limit
> design and that by not having a lower provision at Level A - those
> places that wanted contrast by default - and that could live with the
> design constraint, would specify this SC be included in their design
> or purchase specification.
> --------------------------------
> Response to response
> --------------------------------
> Your response to my comment appears to be based on an assumption that all
> web users are very technologically savvy. This is not the case, in my
> testing I have come across many users who don't have the knowledge or
> confidence to start changing browser and/or OS settings. Also, in some
> circumstances (e.g. some workplaces, libraries, and educational
> institutions) general access to these settings is blocked.
> It is my view SC 1.4.3 should be at Level A.
Received on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 23:31:54 UTC

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