W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > May 2007

Re: Accessibility is for everyone (was : Use of headers and summary attributes )

From: Gareth Hay <gazhay@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 4 May 2007 16:57:33 +0100
Message-Id: <4C3B4E00-A146-481B-AF1F-B6534227DFD8@gmail.com>
Cc: HTML Working Group <public-html@w3.org>
To: Maurice Carey <maurice@thymeonline.com>

On 4 May 2007, at 16:51, Maurice Carey wrote:

> On 5/4/07 11:47 AM, "Charles McCathieNevile" <chaals@opera.com> wrote:
>> Accessibility is a fundamental requirement at W3C.
>> One of the reasons I am happy to see HTML being developed here  
>> again (at last)
>> is that it gives us access to the review of people with a lot of  
>> experience in
>> practical deployment of accessibility, as well as a mechanism that  
>> clearly
>> ensures this is taken into account. Not that I distrust Ian's  
>> management of
>> issues in WHATWG, but my experience suggests that W3C groups get a
>> better-informed accessibility review.
>> Accessibility has to work in the real world. What does this mean?  
>> In 1998/9,
>> many people said it was unrealistic to expect people to use the  
>> alt attribute,
>> and therefore we should forget it. While experience shows there  
>> are stil
>> plenty of people who don't care enough to get it right, showing  
>> that it is
>> important and how to use it will lead to a lot more people making  
>> use of it
>> and therefore improving the accessibility of the web. Perfection  
>> would be
>> wonderful, but given a world where barriers appear all through a  
>> normal day,
>> preventing people from participating in life as we understand it,  
>> improvements
>> are great even when they are partial.
>> This is a complex area, with a lot of competing requirements (what  
>> suits a
>> blind engineer is almost diametrically opposed to what suits a  
>> dyslexic
>> engineer, even before we broaden the application to real  
>> humans ;) ), so some
>> creative thinking is often required before we determine a solution  
>> that
>> satisfies what appear at first to be contradictory requirements.  
>> It has turned
>> out, in many cases, that a good solution can be found. As always,  
>> [cue
>> interjection from M Glazman ;) ] authoring tools of various kinds  
>> have a
>> critical role to play here. Most people don't know much about  
>> accessibility,
>> and while they are no more opposed to it than they are opposed to  
>> other people
>> being able being able to hand-edit web applications, they are  
>> simply trying to
>> put something online and if their tools don't solve the niggling  
>> little
>> problems like interoperability and accessibility, they will just  
>> do as much as
>> they have time for and leave it at that.
>> Anyone who doesn't know what WAI does might like to think about  
>> how widely
>> known and translated the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are  
>> as an
>> indication of whether this stuff is actually important. Like any  
>> other
>> specification, the application is far from perfect, but if you  
>> want to
>> contribute to HTML you should either understand something about  
>> accessibility
>> or realise that accessibility is one very important part of the  
>> modern web and
>> make sure the group is getting review and input from people who do  
>> understand
>> it, and taking that into account.
>> </rant>
>> cheers
>> Chaals
> Do we have representatives from the screen reader/text browser  
> developers in
> the group?
I can't remember the name, but I am sure we do.
Received on Friday, 4 May 2007 15:58:02 UTC

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