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Re: Request to Strengthen the HTML5 Accessibility Design Principle

From: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 18:33:21 +1000
Message-ID: <2c0e02830906240133y27868b9eia59404abefdf8833@mail.gmail.com>
To: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, Chris Wilson <Chris.Wilson@microsoft.com>, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>, Catherine Roy <ecrire@catherine-roy.net>, Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>, Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>, Philip TAYLOR <p.taylor@rhul.ac.uk>, Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>, Roger Johansson <roger@456bereastreet.com>, W3C WAI-XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Just a note of clarification:
When I referred to "this mailing list" I was actually talking about
the WHATWG mailing list. Apologies.

On the public-html mailing list there were also some discussions, but
not much technology experimentation yet.


On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 6:27 PM, Silvia
Pfeiffer<silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Laura,
> Let me just share a note on efforts in Multimedia accessibility.
> There has been work produced and discussed over the last months in
> this group about video accessibility, e.g.
> http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/Video_captioning and
> https://wiki.mozilla.org/Accessibility/Video_a11y_Study08 and much
> more.
> However, it has been decided that the first version of HTML5 <video>
> (and <audio>) will not have an in-built solution for captions, audio
> annotations and the like, because it is possible to do such with
> javascript and external files. It has also been stated that after some
> experimentation and experience, the idea is that a second version of
> HTML5 should have a solution to this.
> There are people outside the WHATWG experimenting with such issues.
> There are even chats between different browser vendors about this.
> Once some more discussion and experimental implementations are
> available, the discussion will certainly flare up again and go across
> W3C working groups. At the 2008 TPAC, there were some initial
> discussions between some members of WAI, public-html, and WHATWG
> groups, just to make sure basic requirements are understood.
> So, basically the answer to the low number of discussions on
> Multimedia accessibility on this mailing list is that it's time hasn't
> come yet. But it certainly hasn't been forgotten and several example
> implementations using javascript exist (at least for captions, which
> is a first step).
> Best Regards,
> Silvia.
> On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 4:32 PM, Laura
> Carlson<laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Ian,
>>>> We request that the accessibility design principle be disambiguated and
>>>> strengthened by replacing it with the following definition text and two
>>>> examples:
>>>> "We will design all features so as to ensure that they are accessible to
>>>> users with disabilities.
>>> I strongly agree with this.
>> That’s great.
>>>> To this end, we will look to the W3C WAI groups for guidance, listen to
>>>> their advice, and collaborate with them to reach mutually agreeable
>>>> accessibility solutions.
>>> I agree with this also.
>> That’s great too.
>>> Note that "listen to" does not mean "obey", and
>>> "mutually agreeable accessibility solutions" may not be those that the WAI
>>> groups initially propose.
>> This is correct.
>>> As far as I can tell, the proposed text matches what the working group has
>>> been doing already.
>> What has been missing in principle and in practice in that specific
>> portion of the proposal is *collaborating with WAI  groups* to reach
>> *mutually agreeable* accessibility solutions. Lack of collaboration
>> has impeded mutually agreeable issue resolution.
>> For example, on Bruce Lawson's  "Alternate text in HTML 5" blog post
>> regarding CG Consensus Resolutions on Text alternatives in HTML 5,
>> Anne van Kesteren commented [1]:
>>> Having looked at the document I am disappointed that it is just
>>>  a list of recommendations we are supposed to take for granted(?)
>>> without providing any kind of rationale.
>>> In my view it does not really address the critical questions that
>>> have been raised e.g. regarding longdesc but just states how that
>>>  group of people think things should work.
>>> On IRC this was characterized as A) “I’d like you to do X” B)
>>> “There are some issues with X, e.g. …” A) “I’d like you to do X”.
>>>  That is no way of having a discussion in my opinion.
>> Besides the Text Alternatives issue [2] there has been no
>> collaboration between WAI and HTML WG on following issues in the past
>> two years.
>> http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/SummaryForTable
>> http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/AddedElementCanvas
>> http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/MultimediaAccessibilty
>> The table headers issue [3] is the only progress that has happened
>> with the accessibility issues. That took people from PF and the HTML
>> WG actually talking, truly debating, and collaborating at a
>> face-to-face meeting. I think that collaboration is about only way to
>> move the accessibility issues forward.
>> People need to respect each other. IRC and the blogs aren't helping.
>> The comments are vicious [4] [5].
>> If HTML5 is going to be accessible, people are going to have to work
>> together. Everyone has something to bring to the table. Youth can
>> bring energy and fresh knowledge. Older people can offer experience
>> and wisdom that can only come from years of real life experience.
>> The HTML and WAI working groups should be collaborating, reaching
>> higher, and seeking/finding ways of advancing accessibility
>> solutions…not merely trying to maintain the status quo and trying to
>> prevent regression due to removal of features without functional
>> replacements.
>> The primary markup language of the World Wide Web should be aiming to
>> extend the range of communication and make the web more accessible.
>> Can the groups work together in a sincere effort to make HTML 5 the
>> best solution ever for everyone including people with disabilities?
>> Best Regards,
>> Laura
>> [1] http://www.brucelawson.co.uk/2009/alternate-text-in-html-5/#comment-613950
>> [2]  http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/IssueAltAttribute
>> [3] http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/IssueTableHeaders
>> [4] http://krijnhoetmer.nl/irc-logs/html-wg/20090611#l-118
>> [5] http://www.brucelawson.co.uk/2009/alternate-text-in-html-5
>> --
>> Laura L. Carlson
Received on Wednesday, 24 June 2009 08:34:19 UTC

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