W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rqtf@w3.org > June 2019

Re: Web Of Things Technical Accessibility Issues.

From: Joshue O Connor <joconnor@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2019 10:31:22 +0100
To: "White, Jason J" <jjwhite@ets.org>, RQTF <public-rqtf@w3.org>
Cc: "public-apa@w3.org" <public-apa@w3.org>, "group-apa-chairs@w3.org" <group-apa-chairs@w3.org>, Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>, Shadi Abou-Zahra <shadi@w3.org>, WAI Team <w3t-wai@w3.org>
Message-ID: <623c55b5-f038-3235-911a-28b9d7d7efec@w3.org>
On 17/06/2019 15:43, White, Jason J wrote:

> I would like to pose the following question for consideration, which is motivated by previous discussion of this topic.

Great - some comments inline.

> Whenever Web-connected devices in the environment are accessed or controlled by software that has a user interface, then that user interface is subject to accessibility requirements. These requirements can be met by following accessible user interface design practices that are informed by W3C Guidelines. The technologies of the user interface implementation also play a role; but it appears that, for the most part if not entirely, the "Web of things" protocols are not directly engaged in the accessibility issues.

In a broad sense yes, but (and this is the tricky part) we can say this 
is the case that - "the "Web of things" protocols are not directly 
engaged in the accessibility issues", but I think it depends on the 
context of use/domain. I'm thinking squarely about navigating a sensor 
powered environment or systems where the thing state or when 
thing-interacts-with-thing => (something new) state needs to be 
translated to the user. It could be a case that all that is needed is 
meta data about thing, or the interaction to be passed to a users device 
and that's fine.

One of the questions I've got is how can we insure that thing meta data 
- when needed, translates in a way that accessibility APIs can consume?  
Do we need abstractions between RDF/JSON-LD and an accessibility API? 
Will it all be just parsed as text? Does this data need a semantics to 
present to a user (which I think will be the case)?

> However, there are potential applications of the Web of Things that would satisfy needs specific to people with disabilities, or satisfy more general needs in ways that specifically solve problems for those with disabilities.

That's clever for sure, and this approach of identifying broader user 
needs, that are not at the extreme end of the spectrum, could be a way 
to square the circle.

> [...] Nevertheless, a case can be made for identifying and developing them. It's possible that some of these applications may create requirements for Web of Things-connected devices or for the capabilities of the underlying protocols (e.g., what kinds of data are transferred from specific types of hardware).

Right, and there may be generic protocols that are supported by hardware 
that will need to have 'room' for some kind of accessibility architecture.

> Thus, I think part of the challenge associated with this topic is that it isn't primarily a question of "accessibility" as such, and that we shouldn't try to force the discussion to fit within that framework.


> Thus, my question is to what extent the above comment is accurate - to what extent is it a matter of opportunities for building applications to meet specific needs, rather than of making applications that would otherwise be created more universally designed and more accessible?

I would prefer focussing on the universal design aspect of WoT - I think 
this would get more traction. Actually as a topic this would be great to 
discuss with the WoT group.

Great input Jason!



Emerging Web Technology Specialist/A11y (WAI/W3C)
Received on Tuesday, 18 June 2019 09:31:27 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Tuesday, 17 January 2023 20:26:46 UTC