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Re: Failure technique: Implementing inappropriate technique is a failure

From: Loretta Guarino Reid <lorettaguarino@google.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2010 17:48:08 -0700
Message-ID: <AANLkTimN4e6TLKOeugjyibipEje+NhdyX=jGRC+pkqe5@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sailesh Panchang <spanchang02@yahoo.com>
Cc: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org
On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 7:41 PM, Sailesh Panchang <spanchang02@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Hello WCAG-WG,
> Time and again I come across situations where an inappropriate technique has been employed.Often these lead to duplication or unnecessary verbosity. This in itself creates a problem  for real users who depend on AT and accessibility  for their daily Web access needs.
> Developers are reluctant to correct these saying it creates more work and question which technique prohibits over-usage of techniques. They tend to brush aside such issues as usability issues.
> Can the WG take a stand on this and maybe list this issue as a failure?
> Consider:
> i. Use of summary attribute and / or  off-screen caption for a simple data table that repeat the title (heading) of the table that is marked up with an h-tag just above the table.
> ii. Use of a FIELDSET with a LEGEND for the form’s title (say, “Registration Form”) as a wrapper for an entire form.
> iii. Use of a FIELDSET (without a LEGEND as a wrapper for an entire form simply for the border that FIELDSET creates
> iv. Use of a title attribute say for INPUT type=submit even when it has a clear value attribute. H91 says ‘value’ is sufficient. Rendering of title is user-agent and AT-dependent and creates a mismatch between  what sighted user sees and what is exposed to AT in some browsers.
> v. Use of longdesc for images that  repeats the alt-value or is broken.
> Thanks,
> Sailesh Panchang
> Centreville VA
> Tel 571-344-1765
Response from the Working Group

Thank you for your comments. While we agree that many of the failures
you have suggested will result in a less than ideal experience for AT
users, failures are common authoring practices that would result in a
clear violation of the requirements described in a success criterion.

We feel that a general failure about using techniques inappropriately
would not be testable and that many of the suggestions you've made
here may fit in better within the context of education, outreach and
training materials.

However, if you have additional examples where the inappropriate use
of a technique presents a significant barrier to accessibility, please
feel free to submit them.

If you have specific suggestions for how some of this advice might be
incorporated in the context of existing techniques (ex. as a note,
example or as an advisory technique), please let us know.

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
Received on Friday, 30 July 2010 00:48:37 UTC

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