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Re: Web Of Things Technical Accessibility Issues.

From: Joshue O Connor <joconnor@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2019 16:48:07 +0100
To: Michael Cooper <cooper@w3.org>, "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: <d97bcb7b-865d-ee8c-a3e8-28dcf9f04749@w3.org>
On 18/06/2019 15:24, Michael Cooper wrote:

> On 18/06/2019 5:31 a.m., Joshue O Connor wrote:
>> 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)? 
> [...] Rich enough "thing descriptions" so a user agent can construct 
> an accessible experience without a priori knowledge, self-describing 
> metadata ontologies that allow automated processing without reference 
> to restricted vocabularies... 

Right, you've articulated a hunch I had there nicely. It seems that if 
we try not to fit the new into the old, in terms of rich thing 
descriptions and support for legacy networks - then I agree that we 
should face that brave new world and see if it can lift all boats. If AT 
disappears, and we just have UIs that support modality x, then that 
would be wonderful.

One thing about restricted vocabularies, is that it can focus attention 
on what is semantically important. Knowledge (or lack of) has been the 
bread and butter of most accessibility peoples careers! So if we feel 
the ground is laid for really building on semantically aware communities 
in either WoT, or XR or whatever, then we do have so exciting opportunities.

I am by nature a tech sceptic, as well as inherently cautious when it 
comes to potentially leaky abstractions. So for that kind of paradigm to 
work, there needs to be people on the ground who can support and guide 
the new infrastructure so it really will be fit for purpose.

> Some of those things have been dreams of the metadata community for a 
> long time, but the present state of technology and the novel use cases 
> of web of things might mean those things are realistic now, and a 
> potentially important part of the accessibility puzzle.

+1. Sounds good - but before we leave the world of accessibility APIs 
;-) Seriously, I don't think we would move away from that model 
overnight, and there is need for AT vendor engagement  when it comes to 
support for any new metadata schema etc. For the short term, if its 
going on the web, there will be a DOM and an Accessibility API.

As an aside, I'm seeing that there are also interesting suggestions in 
the accessibility API space, and new thinking such as in the 
Accessibility Object Model, for example using non-reflective (or getters 
and setters) accessibility properties and updating Web Components like 
that, along with doing this dynamically as needed for state changes etc 
via callbacks. Yes, this kind of thing can be done by an accessibility 
aware React developer but they are few and far between.

So AOM is also talking about interesting things like setting default 
accessibility properties for components, and being able to support 
custom based semantics, and use of scripting to update elements and 
their various properties without globally assigning IDs. (if I am 
reading the spec correctly?) [1]

This kind of thinking is very interesting to me and I see wide ranging 
applications in different domains. But finally, I have to leave the last 
word to Michael, as his point about novel use cases, and the potential 
for just 'rich' thing descriptions and their potential beyond 
accessibility APIs, is excellent.






> Michael
Emerging Web Technology Specialist/A11y (WAI/W3C)
Received on Tuesday, 18 June 2019 15:48:12 UTC

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