W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-comments-wcag20@w3.org > December 2007

Re: Understanding Success Criterion 1.4.8 | Understanding WCAG 2.0

From: Egan, Bim <Bim.Egan@rnib.org.uk>
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2007 11:33:43 -0000
Message-ID: <7DCC97516CAEE343BD17A00F900754E10DA62975@jstmsx01.ads.rnib.org.uk>
To: <public-comments-wcag20@w3.org>
I'd like to make a comment pleas:
There's an apparent contradiction within Understanding 1.4.8:  
In the Intent of this Success Criterion  
"People with some cognitive, language and learning disabilities and some
low vision users cannot perceive the text and/or lose their reading
place if the text is presented in a manner that is difficult for them to
read. " 
and again under benefits:
Specific Benefits of Success Criterion 1.4.7: (sic)
This Success Criterion helps low vision users by letting them see text
without distracting presentational features. It lets them configure text
in ways that will be easier for them to see by letting them control the
color and size of blocks of text. 
People with some cognitive disabilities can read text better when they
select their own foreground and background color combinations. 
All of which appears to indicate that users should be allowed to define
foreground and background colors in their browsers.
However, this isn't reflected in the techniques, where, the first bullet
point seems to recommend specifying background and text colours. 
Sufficient Techniques 
1. Techniques to ensure foreground and background colors can be selected
by the user 

* Specifying foreground and background colors in CSS (future link) OR 
* Providing a color selection tool that allows a pastel background
(future link) OR 
* Providing a multi color selection tool on the page for foreground and
background colors (JavaScript, Future Link) OR 
* Using a technology that has commonly-available user agents that can
change the foreground and background of blocks of text (General, future
If authors DO specify all foreground and background colors, it is
virtually impossible for users to select their preferred, or required,
choice, without also losing visual clues to menu bars etc.  Colour is an
important aid to recognising menu content when reading is difficult.
Shouldn't the first sufficient technique ask authors to refrain from
specifying inessential foreground and background  colors for substantial
blocks of text?   After that, the current list  could continue, with a
slight amendment to the present first bullet:
* Any specified foreground and background colors are in CSS, not HTML
(future link) OR 
I do hope I've made this clear, but do reply if there are any questions.
I'd be delighted to create a page that demonstrates the advantages of
not specifying either background or foreground, if this would help.

Kind regards,

Bim Egan
Website Accessibility Consultant
T: 020 7391 2048
M: 07973 788613
E: Bim.Egan@rnib.org.uk
A: 105 Judd Street, London, WC1H 9NE

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Received on Thursday, 20 December 2007 03:41:44 UTC

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