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RE: LVTF position on contrast requirements for interactive control states

From: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2016 21:05:45 +0000
To: Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com>, "public-low-vision-a11y-tf@w3.org" <public-low-vision-a11y-tf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BN1PR03MB26879D7321680E990A7B3509B8A0@BN1PR03MB268.namprd03.prod.outlook.com>
In my opinion this is much better than the prior discussion/decision on the topic and I’d generally agree.  While I’d like to also consider hover state I’m happy to take the focus state alone for the current WCAG 2 and would accept this with an editorial change.  The term recommendation could be taken the wrong way to appear as advisory..  In reality it seems pretty clearly a failure to me and not just a recommendation.


From: Andrew Kirkpatrick [mailto:akirkpat@adobe.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 4:47 PM
To: public-low-vision-a11y-tf@w3.org
Subject: LVTF position on contrast requirements for interactive control states

LVTF – read and let us know if you agree.

Related to WCAG Issue 157: https://github.com/w3c/wcag/issues/157

This question was posed: There is an implication that contrast requirements cover all states of links, buttons and inputs (hover, focus etc) but this is currently unclear and it would be good to have an explicit note to state this.

The working group responded to a similar question in the past and indicated that the interactive states for controls such as the ones represented in CSS pseudo-classes for HTML:
:focus (when the keyboard focuses the control)
:hover (when the pointer device hovers over a control)
: active (when the control is in the process of being interacted with, for example when a button is actively being clicked or pressed)

The Working Group’s past response was that meeting the contrast criteria was not required to meet WCAG 2.0, and the basis for that decision was that users could move away from the control to read the un-focused or un-hovered state.  The point was made recently that for the appearance of a control when it receives keyboard focus, it is important to meet the contrast criteria because end users may not be able to use tab or shift-tab to move off of the control and ensure that they can view the control.

  *   A page has lots of space between controls (you can only view one button or other control at a time, even with typical screen resolution, because the buttons are spaced so far apart.
  *   A page has controls that are spaced more closely, but the end-user increases the text size or uses a magnifier and the result is that the user may not be able to see a control when he moves the focus to an adjacent control.
  *   A page has a hidden skip navigation button which appears only when focused.  Tabbing away from this button makes the button disappear.
Given that these situations (particularly the second one) can occur on any page, the contrast of the focused state for all pages must meet the WCAG 2.0 contrast requirement.

For :hover, it is possible for a pointer-device user to move the pointer slightly away from the control with the changed appearance of text during hover, so it is desirable but not required that such as control meets the color contrast requirement.

For :active, the state change exists only while the control is being activated, so it is less critical that the contrast of text during this brief period meet contrast requirements.

It is recommended that text of links and controls that changes at any time meets the appropriate contrast requirement in WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria 1.4.3. Given that it can be difficult to find enough color combinations to address the design needs and meet the contrast requirement, it is sufficient to meet the SC 1.4.3 contrast requirement for text that changes upon keyboard focus and allowable that text that changes when the link or control is in the active or hover states to not meet the SC 1.4.3 contrast requirement.


Andrew Kirkpatrick
Group Product Manager, Accessibility



Received on Wednesday, 16 March 2016 21:06:22 UTC

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