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Re: ACTION-1440: landmarks section uses "region of page" in prose even though "region" is not a landmark

From: Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2014 14:09:08 -0600
To: Matthew King <mattking@us.ibm.com>
Cc: WAI Protocols & Formats <public-pfwg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF975DE71F.FF0B55BD-ON86257DA3.006E06AF-86257DA3.006EB2F4@us.ibm.com>

Matt,

I am ok with this with the following exceptions.

1. In the HTML 5 mapping, map HTML section to region only if region has a
label.

I don't think this is necessary. ATs already understand that a label is
needed to mark a region as important. This would also require additional
work for Steve and the HTML spec. without a lot of value add given that ATs
already deal with this. Plus, HTML would still need a role for <section>
even if you did not have a label.

2. Items 7 and 8 - similar issue. I don't think we should put that
additional work on browsers as existing AT vendors can handle it if they
choose to.

Rich


Rich Schwerdtfeger



From:	Matthew King/Fishkill/IBM@IBMUS
To:	WAI Protocols & Formats <public-pfwg@w3.org>
Date:	12/01/2014 09:56 PM
Subject:	ACTION-1440: landmarks section uses "region of page" in prose
            even though "region" is  not a landmark



After today's lengthy discussion of action 1440, I gave the issues raised
during the call a fresh look. A difficulty facing several of the proposed
solutions, which was pointed out several times by James Craig, is that in
addition to landmark, other subclasses of region include alert, article,
grid, list, log, status, and tabpanel. I propose that this is actually the
root of the problem. This is what prevents us from clarifying requirements
associated with the region role.

Please consider the following.

First, the description of region, which was not being fundamentally
disputed is:
"A large perceivable section of a web page or document, that is important
enough to be included in a page summary or table of contents, for example,
an area of the page containing live sporting event statistics."

Now, ask yourself, is a list, grid, tabpanel, alert, or status element
necessarily a large perceivable section of a web page or document, that is
important enough to be included in a page summary or table of contents?

I believe the answer is clearly "no!"

I propose the following changes for ARIA 1.1 to resolve the issues
surrounding action 1440.

1. Change the super class of the following roles to be the abstract role
section: alert, grid, list, log, status, and tabpanel.

2. Remove region as a superclass of article, leaving article with document
as its only superclass.

3. Change the "Name from" characteristic of abstract role section to be
"N/A".

4. Change the definition of landmark as follows.
Current definition:
A type of region on a page to which the user may want quick access. Content
in such a region is different from that of other regions on the page and
relevant to a specific user purpose, such as navigating, searching,
perusing the primary content, etc.
Proposed new definition:
A region of a page to which the user may want quick access. The region has
either a type (role) or label or both that conveys its relevantce to a
specific purpose, such as navigating, searching, perusing the primary
content, etc.

5. Keep the current landmark role as abstract. Even though we had general
agreement that making it concrete may be a good idea, after reconsidering,
I think it will create significant problems. Primary reasons:
A. a generic landmark role that does not require a label will reduce
usability given that the landmark will have neither a clear purpose nor a
label. We agreed that if landmark were concrete, it could not require label
in order to be exposed as a landmark.
B. Making landmark concrete does not benefit current UA and AT
implementations that support authors use of labeled regions as generic
landmark containers and could create confusion since a labeled region and
an unlabeled generic landmark would need to receive equal treatment by UA
and AT.
C. Given the above proposed definition of landmark and changes to the
ontology, we could eliminate the abstract landmark role without losing
anything. However, I think this would just create unnecessary work.

6. In the HTML 5 mapping, map HTML section to region only if region has a
label.

7. In the core AAM, only expose role region in the platform accessibility
APIs if the region has a label. (Note, this is only for role region and not
any of its subclasses).

8. Specify accessible name as required for role region and explicitly
override that requirement (set it false) for each of the concrete landmark
subclass roles.

9. Consider adding the following text to the prose for role region (not
sure this is necessary):
"Assistive technologies and user agents MAY provide landmark navigation
functionality for elements with role region and an accessible name."

Taken together, I believe this set of changes will:
1. eliminate all the confusion described in the notes associated with
action 1440.
2. Enable legacy implementations to continue working.
3. Continue to give AT vendors the flexibility they have today in UX
design.

Matt King
IBM Senior Technical Staff Member
I/T Chief Accessibility Strategist
IBM BT/CIO - Global Workforce and Web Process Enablement
Phone: (503) 578-2329, Tie line: 731-7398
mattking@us.ibm.com

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Received on Wednesday, 3 December 2014 20:09:44 UTC

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