Draft Message to ARIA WG

Dear Pronunciation TF:

As recently discussed on our teleconferences, Matthew and I feel it
important to touch base with the ARIA-WG regarding their proposal on how
to achieve predictable pronunciation. Our draft message follows for your
comment and consideration. We expect to discuss this with you on the
next Pronunciation TF teleconference. Once we agree on the message to
send, I and Matthew will forward it to the ARIA-WG Chairs.

<begin draft>

Hi James, Valerie, Daniel,

We're writing on behalf of APA's Spoken Presentation TF. We intend imminently to gather data from AT vendors on possible approaches for including SSML semantics in documents as soon as we have a consensus draft letter for them [1], but that's not the only thing this email is about). In parallel, we wanted to check with you as to whether you feel that the current ARIA proposal could be extended to meet the requirements our partners identified.

As you may recall, we have 7 use cases from our partners in education. We regarded 4 as critical:

* Phonetic Pronunciation
* Substitution
* Say As
* Pausing

We regarded the following 3 as desired, but not critical:

* Emphasis
* Rate/Pitch/Voice
* Voice family/Gender

Paul produced a document covering how we might try to extend the latest ARIA WG proposal to meet these requirements [2]; the latest ARIA WG proposal covers the first three of the critical ones. Paul did find a way to extend the latest ARIA WG proposal to support pausing, though I think when we discussed this at TPAC [3], we determined that it was sub-optimal (and probably not workable).

Our understanding is that SSML is the only approach that can support at least the critical use cases (it actually supports all 7). We plan to start some data-gathering from AT vendors to ascertain their thoughts on it, and a couple of different ways it could be deployed (directly in the accessibility tree, or in an attribute that AT need to parse).

However, we also wanted to check with you in parallel that we had reached the same understanding regarding the latest ARIA WG proposal.

best regards,

Matthew, Janina, Paul, Irfan

[1] https://github.com/w3c/pronunciation/wiki/Re:-AT-Vendors
[2] https://github.com/w3c/pronunciation/wiki/%5BDRAFT%5D-ARIA-Counter-Proposal
[3] https://www.w3.org/2022/09/13-apa-minutes.html#x228


Janina Sajka (she/her/hers)
Accessibility Consultant https://linkedin.com/in/jsajka

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
Co-Chair, Accessible Platform Architectures	http://www.w3.org/wai/apa

Linux Foundation Fellow

Received on Saturday, 11 March 2023 03:06:34 UTC