W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > February 2009

Re: Example canvas element use - accessibility concerns

From: William Loughborough <wloughborough@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 17:51:12 -0800
Message-ID: <1e3451610902181751p2457fecxab9679d38191c0f0@mail.gmail.com>
To: David Bolter <david.bolter@utoronto.ca>
Cc: "John Foliot - WATS.ca" <foliot@wats.ca>, Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@mit.edu>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
It's actually not likely to happen.

Without seeming too flip, I recommend you re-read the part of Janina's post
concerning the PDF episode.

So long as we behave as if *information* is ONLY visual, we will have the
tendency of continuing to post images of text as if they were text.

If you worked for a bunch of blind guys (not with them - FOR them) you might
get it

It's hard to grok because we blindless people are so dependent on, in awe
of, and beholden to that particular sense that we find ourselves actually
saying to a totally blind person who asks where something is, to respond
with "it's the blue thing right over there."

If you read, e.g. Section 508 of the Rehab Act and take to heart the idea of
equivalent access, perhaps you would start from a different "viewpoint"
(yes, the language reinforces prejudices against blindness) and maybe not
think of an idea for an element that is at root dependent on seeing.
Practically every blind person I've talked to about it has no trouble
recalling, say, a bus driver who (before he notices the white cane or guide
dog) answers a query with "what's the matter, are you blind?"

That it got this far before the realization of the a11y aspects is an
indictment of our ability to educate even our closest colleagues in the fact
that this is a human rights issue and mustn't be tampered with for trivial

<canvas> implies a painting to be viewed rather than information to be

The task of making graphic representations, which comically enough, were
derived from the very text you seek to replace them with poses an enormous
problem. So I'm positing that it won't happen. There is no evidence that: a)
it can be done effectively; b) that if it could, it would have any lasting


On Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 4:29 PM, David Bolter <david.bolter@utoronto.ca>wrote:

> Okay then let's make sure that happens. Where and how is it likely to
> happen?
Received on Thursday, 19 February 2009 01:51:50 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Saturday, 9 October 2021 18:44:43 UTC