Re: Accessibility of XR - Notes on the Framework for Accessible Specification of Technologies

High-level reply:

I agree functional performance criteria relate to FAST, which is 
essentially a set of functional requirements for technologies. At the 
beginning of the document there is a list of known guidelines that were 
considered for sources of information that belongs in the FAST:

It would make sense to add additional references here, and go through 
them in the process of identifying a unified set of guidelines.

The FAST may be more detailed than other functional criteria, so I don't 
expect a 1:1 mapping. In general the FAST takes high level requirements 
and breaks them down into more details, currently implemented as a 
nested list:

So we would incorporate additional guidance into whatever part of this 
list that makes sense. As the framework matures we may find a different 
way to present it, but the nested list was the easiest way for me to get 


On 27/03/2019 3:24 p.m., White, Jason J wrote:
>   Background
> I reviewed the Framework for Accessible Specification of Technologies 
> (FAST) <> in connection with the 
> accessibility of applications that are on the reality/virtuality 
> continuum. These include virtual reality and augmented reality 
> scenarios. Any technologies developed to standardize the creation of 
> XR applications are clearly candidates for use of the strategies 
> documented in the FAST. The user needs identified therein are also 
> strongly relevant.
>   Observations
> Many of the user needs identified in the FAST are pertinent to XR 
> technologies, as are the approaches put forward for addressing them. 
> Nevertheless, there are some issues emerging from the XR-related 
> literature that we have reviewed which are not currently represented 
> in the user needs or associated technical design strategies, according 
> to my reading of the FAST document.
> Significantly, these issues can however be located (sometimes, 
> admittedly, by stretching the principles) within the conceptual 
> framework provided by functional performance requirements as 
> articulated in accessibility policy standards, notably the section 
> 508/section 255 standards in the U.S., and EN 301 549 in the E.U. See, 
> for example, EN 301 549, clause 4 
> <>.
> It should be noted that the functional performance requirements need 
> to be applied not only individually, but also in combinations in order 
> to capture the diversity of users’ needs and capabilities.
>   Examples of XR Accessibility Issues Addressed by Functional
>   Performance Requirements
> It was noted in APA Working Group discussions that some XR 
> environments make assumptions about the user’s ability to reach the 
> controls provided by the user interface, including the ability to turn 
> around in order to reach certain controls. Clause 4.2.8 (“Usage with 
> limited reach”) addresses this concern, although it is stated to apply 
> to cases in which “ICT products are free-standing or installed” – not 
> precisely the XR scenarios that we have in mind, but very close, and 
> articulating the correct requirement.
> The specific issue of captions in 360-degree video resides under 
> clauses 4.2.4 and 4.2.5 (note the cross-reference in the latter section).
> The problem, identified in the literature, of providing nonvisual 
> descriptions of a virtual scene without overwhelming the user with 
> information concerning all of the virtual objects in the vicinity, is 
> not so easily classified. It appears to me to derive from elements of 
> 4.2.1 (“Usage without vision”) and 4.2.10 (“Usage with limited 
> cognition”). The cognitive limitations are not in this case 
> necessarily due to learning or cognitive disability, but rather to the 
> cognitive demands of dealing with extensive information about a visual 
> scene delivered in a serial (textual) communication channel.
> A challenge for screen reader users, identified in the literature, of 
> walking to a particular object in the virtual environment, or of 
> following another participant, presumably lies under 4.2.1 (“Usage 
> without vision”). The solution is to provide commands for performing 
> these functions. I suspect similar issues could arise for those with 
> “limited manipulation or strength” (4.2.7).
>   Considerations for Further FAST Development
> Functional performance criteria, individually and in combination, 
> could serve as a useful conceptual tool with which to identify and 
> understand accessibility challenges emerging from actual or proposed 
> new technologies. They could also serve as organizing principles for 
> understanding users’ access needs. I think consideration should be 
> given to how to integrate them appropriately into the FAST. In 
> addition, there are some XR-specific user requirements that could be 
> included, or given as examples in the document.
> Comments are most welcome.
> Regards,
> Jason.
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Received on Wednesday, 3 April 2019 14:40:21 UTC