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Re: Techniques for WCAG 2.0 Using aria-describedby to provide descriptions of objects ( LC-2848)

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2014 15:30:55 -0600
Message-ID: <CAOavpvejEKkFjKe5hyVZUktPMC6+twbxYr=6OhXY6c58uNmdDQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: akirkpat@adobe.com
Cc: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org, Charles McCathieNevile <w3b@chaals.com>, Vlad Alexander <vlad.alexander@xstandard.com>, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>, Catherine Roy <ecrire@catherine-roy.net>
Hi Andrew and Michael,

Thank you. Much appreciated.

Best Regards,
Laura

On 1/16/14, akirkpat@adobe.com <akirkpat@adobe.com> wrote:
>  Dear Laura Carlson ,
>
> The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group has reviewed the
> comments you sent [1] on the Last Call Working Draft [2] of the Techniques
> for WCAG 2.0 published on 5 Sep 2013. Thank you for having taken the time
> to review the document and to send us comments!
>
> The Working Group's response to your comment is included below.
>
> Please review it carefully and let us know by email at
> public-comments-wcag20@w3.org if you agree with it or not before 21 January
> 2014. In case of disagreement, you are requested to provide a specific
> solution for or a path to a consensus with the Working Group. If such a
> consensus cannot be achieved, you will be given the opportunity to raise a
> formal objection which will then be reviewed by the Director during the
> transition of this document to the next stage in the W3C Recommendation
> Track.
>
> Thanks,
>
> For the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group,
> Michael Cooper
> W3C Staff Contact
>
>  1.
> http://www.w3.org/mid/CAOavpvdR2oVvx2tymGbD3KraszTvCYNYJghCWsC_PyK1DMwE7Q@mail.gmail.com
>  2. http://www.w3.org/TR/2013/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20130905/
>
>
> =====
>
> Your comment on :
>> 1. Title of the document
>>
>> Using aria-describedby to provide descriptions of objects
>>
>> 2. Location within the document
>>
>> Text that states:
>>
>> "A feature of WAI-ARIA is the ability to associate descriptive text
>> with a section, drawing, form element, picture, and so on using the
>> aria-describedby property. This is unlike longdesc, which typically
>> required the author to create a separate file to describe a picture
>> when it was preferred to have the descriptive text in prose as well so
>> that it was readily available to all users. Yet, like longdesc,
>> descriptive text is treated separately from the short name you would
>> typically provide using the title or alt attributes in HTML. This is
>> the preferred vehicle for providing long descriptions for elements in
>> your document because the alternative is available to all, including
>> sighted people who do not have assistive technology."
>>
> http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/wiki/Using_aria-describedby_to_provide_descriptions_of_objects
>> (16 July 2013 version)
>>
>> 3. Concern
>>
>> This information is incorrect.
>>
>> Longdesc does not require the author to create a separate file to
>> describe an image as explained in:
>>
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-comments-wcag20/2013Jul/0012.html
>>
>> Additionally, with aria-describedby the description is forced upon
>> screen reader users whether they want it or not. They cannot interact
>> with it at will. Aria-describedby is read aloud without any user
>> intervention, forcing the screen reader user to listen to it each and
>> every time they encounter the image. The user is not able to control
>> how they interact with the long description. None of this is a problem
>> with longdesc as it supplies long descriptions on-demand and not by
>> force. This choice is a critical user-requirement.
>>
>> Forcing users to listen to long descriptions is an extremely negative
>> and harmful user-experience as John Foliot has explained,
>> “The ability to (mentally and literally) pause, step outside of the
>> page flow to get a description of a complex image (because you cannot
>> see it) and then return to the content flow AT EXACTLY THE SAME PLACE
>> YOU LEFT OFF is a design feature, not a flaw. The key point about
>> @longdesc (for screen readers) is that they are given a *choice* as to
>> whether or not they want to hear what some might consider extraneous
>> data or not - it is the difference between glancing at a sophisticated
>> pie chart (for example) versus studying it. You, as a sighted user,
>> have that choice (to glance or study), yet insisting that the full-on
>> textual description be inserted into the content flow because the user
>> is blind is tantamount to me holding your head in a fixed position and
>> insisting that you explain aloud to me that pie chart before I allow
>> you to continue reading the rest of the page.
>> @longdesc is about user-choice!”
>> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011Mar/0736.html
>>
>> The designed behavior of Screen Reading technology that supports
>> aria-describedby is to automatically 'read aloud' the text string
>> referenced by the attribute, whether or not the end-user actually
>> wants this information. It will introduce a "force-fed" longer
>> description on the Screen Reader user whether they want it or not.
>> This is, understandably, an extremely disruptive user-experience and
>> one we should be avoiding at all cost.
>>
>> Aria-describedby is not a preferred method.
>>
>> 4. Suggested change
>>
>> Remove:
>>
>> "This is unlike longdesc which typically required the author to create
>> a separate file to describe a picture when it was preferred to have
>> the descriptive text in prose as well so that it was readily available
>> to all users. Yet, like longdesc, descriptive text is treated
>> separately from the short name you would typically provide using the
>> title or alt attributes in HTML. This is the preferred vehicle for
>> providing long descriptions for elements in your document because the
>> alternative is available to all, including sighted people who do not
>> have assistive technology."
>>
>> Add something such as:
>>
>> Screen Reading technology that supports aria-describedby is
>> automatically 'read aloud' forcing users to listen to descriptions
>> each time a user encounters an object.
>>
>> 5. Additional rationale for the comment
>>
>> The Techniques for WCAG 2.0 document should treat ARIA and longdesc
>> equitably and not be biased against the new longdesc spec.
>>
> https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/html-proposals/raw-file/default/longdesc1/longdesc..html
>>
>> Please correct this situation.
>
>
> Working Group Resolution (LC-2848):
> Thank you for your comment.  We've reviewed your comment in conjunction
> with similar remarks from another commenter, and are proposing changes to
> address both.
>
> The working group's intention is to offer information which authors can use
> to understand ways to address WCAG 2.0 success criteria.  In response to
> comments about the aria-describedby technique we are incorporating we are
> proposing changes which will present about aria-describedby and longdesc in
> the same way that recent changes to technique H45 introduced.
> Specifically, the second paragraph of the description for
> http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/wiki/Using_aria-describedby_to_provide_descriptions_of_objects
> will read:
>
> @@A feature of WAI-ARIA is the ability to associate descriptive text with a
> section, drawing, form element, picture, and so on using the
> aria-describedby property. This is similar to the longdesc attribute in
> that both are useful for providing additional information to help users
> understand complex images. Like longdesc, descriptive text provided using
> aria-describedby is separate from the short name provided using the alt
> attribute in HTML. Unlike longdesc, aria-describedby cannot reference
> descriptions outside of the page containing the image. An advantage of
> providing long descriptions using content from the same page as the image
> is that the alternative is available to all, including sighted people who
> do not have assistive technology. It is worth noting that as of the time of
> writing (October 2013) some assistive technologies read aria-describedby
> content immediately after an image's alt attribute information without user
> activation - whereas current implementations of longdesc require the user
> to take explicit action to read the additional description.
>
> ----
>
>
>


-- 
Laura L. Carlson
Received on Friday, 24 January 2014 21:33:07 UTC

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