Re: accessibility proposal Review...

Some very quick replies...

On Fri, 06 Sep 2013 00:26:17 +0100, Jason Johnson (BING)  
<> wrote:

> Adding Ian Niles from the Microsoft Bing team and sharing his feedback.
> 1.        I'm not sure we need both properties hasAdaptation and  
> isAdaptationOf (each is just an inverse of the other).

Yeah, that's my position too.

> 2.       ATCompatible is defined as a Boolean property.  It would be  
> more informative if it were defined as a property with an enumeration of  
> values relating to WCAG 2.0 checkpoints or to some other means of  
> qualifying the nature of the compatibility with assistive technologies.

Agree. And I think that is what Rich said the idea is meant to be  
(although having the value as a boolean loses that).

> 3.       The values of accessAPI and controlFlexibility are needlessly  
> special-purpose, I think.  It would be better if these values were  
> named/defined in a way that is reusable across, e.g. iOS  
> (instead of iOSAccessibility), Java (instead of JavaAccessibility), etc.

Not sure. Haven't thought hard about that part of the proposal to be  
honest, I have focused so far on web content use cases.



> From: Charles Myers []
> Sent: Thursday, September 5, 2013 4:21 PM
> To: Richard Schwerdtfeger; Gerardo Capiel
> Cc:; Alexander Shubin; Charles  
> McCathie Nevile; Dan Brickley; Egor Antonov; Jason Johnson (BING);  
> George Kerscher; Liddy Nevile; Matt Garrish; <>
> Subject: RE: accessibility proposal Review...
> My last email seems to have been eaten by the email gods. Here is the  
> second try. I apologize if there are duplicates.
> Thanks for the comment, Richard,
> Let me give a bit of background on the choice of the name ATCompatible,  
> as opposed to the ATinteroperable.
> But, before I do this, let me point out hat we do have a crosswalk that  
> relates all of the properties between a11ymetadata, AFA v3 (which was in  
> development as we worked on this, with joint members), AFA ISO, Onix and  
> DC.  This useful document can be found at  
> and  
> may make the  crossreferences easier. Gerardo had not noted that in his  
> earlier response.
> There was a great debate in the working group on two property names,  
> apiInteroperable and at atInteroperable. Here is a short summary
> * Especially in the context of where the properties would not  
> be in standalone areas for accessibility, but would be intermingled with  
> all the other properties, property names had to have the least ambiguity.
> * With that, atInteroperable became ATCompatible, meaning that it is  
> intended to work with accessible technologies. This suggestion was to  
> have been suggested back to AFAv3, as it was just being added in this  
> version (it was not in the ISO version) and was in draft mode.
> * Also apiInteroperable, which was ambiguous outside the accessibility  
> context (which API?) became accessAPI, which made clear that the API in  
> question was for accessibility.
> The good news is that we're talking about the exact same thing. But the  
> adience for is much larger than the set of people who might  
> look at AfA: we needed them to be able to stand alone without the  
> accessibility context.
> One bit of background Interoperable is generally viewed as being an  
> attribute between two systems or to use parts from another system: the  
> word's meaning is one of a peer relationship. In our case, we're talking  
> about content, and the interaction is with the media display tool.
> Sorry for the long answer, but I wanted to make sure that you understood  
> why we deviated from AfA v3 and were hoping that that effort would move  
> to the new terminology with us. You'll find a number of these, such as  
> the "colorDependent" access mode, which was one of Dan's earlier  
> comments, which was much more clear than just "color."  I hope this  
> helps.  Thanks for asking for the clarification. They key is that we  
> subsetted the AfA work to the minimum set (looking for adoption) and  
> improved names, with feedback to AfA, for many values.
> ________________________________
> From: Richard Schwerdtfeger <<>>
> Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2013 1:08 PM
> To: Gerardo Capiel
> Cc:  
> Alexander Shubin; Charles McCathie Nevile; Charles Myers; Dan Brickley;  
> Egor Antonov; Jason Johnson; George Kerscher; Liddy Nevile; Matt  
> Garrish; <<>>
> Subject: Re: accessibility proposal Review...
> Rich Schwerdtfeger
> Gerardo Capiel <<>>  
> wrote on 09/05/2013 12:52:21 PM:
>> From: Gerardo Capiel  
>> <<>>
>> To: Charles McCathie Nevile  
>> <<>>, "a11y-metadata-
>> <<>>,
>> "<<>>"  
>> <<>>,
>> Cc: Dan Brickley <<>>,  
>> Alexander Shubin <ajax@yandex-
>>>, Egor Antonov  
>> <<>>, Liddy Nevile
>> <<>>, Charles  
>> Myers <<>>,
>> Richard Schwerdtfeger/Austin/IBM@IBMUS, George Kerscher
>> <<>>, Jason Johnson  
>> <<>>, Matt
>> Garrish <<>>
>> Date: 09/05/2013 12:53 PM
>> Subject: Re: accessibility proposal Review...
>> Chaals,
>> Thank you for taking the time to think through these issues.  Responses  
>> below:
>> Gerardo Capiel
>> VP of Engineering, benetech
>> Twitter: @gcapiel  Fork, Code, Do Social Good:  
>> On Sep 4, 2013, at 5:57 PM, Charles McCathie Nevile  
>> <<>>
>>  wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I'm really sorry this has taken me so long to pin down. I appreciate
>> that Epub are looking for some fast movement from at the
>> moment, but I am wondering if we can provide that (I actually
>> believe it is possible to fix the things I talk about here without
>> busting that timeline, but I can't guarantee that).
>> I'd like to discuss this on a publicly archived email list. I'm not
>> sure if ti should be public-vocabs, or an accessibility-oriented one,  
>> or what.
>> I've added the public accessibility metadata project email list and
>> public-vocabs list to this thread.
>> I finally figured out what made me uneasy about the proposal - until
>> now I just felt like the dodgy examples I had seen were a symptom
>> rather than just one-off mistakes. I've described the issues below as  
>> follows:
>> - AccessMode (and as a sub-issue, levels of detail). I think this is
>> a serious thing that should be fixed more or less immediately
>> - AccessFeature. This is important enough to look at immediately and
>> figure out what it really does.
>> - adaptations. We should let others define this. We really only need
>> "anotherVersion" pointers in most cases
>> - ATCompatible. I think this is broken, but not critically
>> important. We should fix it when we've done the above stuff
> Actually, it was supposed to be ATInteroperable (from Access For All).  
> It means that the web content was designed to be interoperable with an  
> assistive technology and the original spec. states which WCAG  
> checkpoints are applicable. This is extremely important. By  
> interoperable it means that the content is capable of enabling a browser  
> to support the native platform accessibility APIs. For HTML5 this would  
> mean through the use of content with strong native semantics and/or ARIA  
> support. ATInteroperable does not mean fully WCAG compliant but it  
> adheres to a subset of the requirements. For example, A Screen Reader,  
> Screen Magnifier, or accessibility test tool user would ask for  
> ATInteroperable content. This type of vocabulary is also sucha that it  
> does not declare the users medical disability.
> ATCompatible is the wrong choice as it could mean that your keyboard  
> keys don't conflict by looking at the name.
>> - evolution. We need to have some idea about how to handle this, but
>> a formal specification isn't required IMHO.
>> = accessMode =
>> It should be possible for a "single resource" to be available with
>> more than one *set* of accessModes.
> Yes, we should have a unique set of access modes. Access For All defined  
> those. I suspect they made it to
>> I agree and this is the design.  A single resource can require one
>> or more accessMode(s).
>> Per IMS documentation at the links below, the accessMode property
>> describes "Human sensory perceptual system or cognitive faculty
>> through which a person may process or perceive information."  The
>> links below also provide example use cases:
>> AfA3p0_DESinfoModel_v1p0pd.html#_Toc323719827
>> AfA3p0_BestPractice_v1p0pd.html#_Toc324315328
>> We have also published a best practices and an implementation guide
>> on the use of accessMode at:
>> A11yMetadataProjectBestPracticesGuide_V.6.pdf
>> .
>> All of our resources for assistance and guidance can be found at
>> .
>> accessMode is derived from the Access For All (AfA) specification by
>> IMS Global and the associated ISO 24751 (Individualized adaptability
>> and accessibility in e-learning, education and training) Part 3
>> (digital resource description) specification. WGBH's NCAM and the
>> Inclusive Design Research Center (IDRC) who were both involved in
>> ISO 24751 and AfA were also involved in the crafting of this
>> accessibility metadata proposal.  IMS who is the copyright holder on
>> AfA released this proposal under a CC-BY-SA license per  
>> terms.
>> We chose to leverage this prior work because is meant to
>> address search use cases, which have strong overlap with the AfA use
>> cases related to matching the appropriate resource to a learner
>> based on on their needs and preferences.  AfA/ISO 24751 work is
>> being synchronized with and leveraged by other current projects,
>> such as Indie UI and GPII.  Rich Schwerdtfeger can probably talk to
>> this much more than I can.
>> Essentially, it is unclear what accessMode really means. At least
>> for the search use case where a user needs to find a suitable
>> resource, I think the only way this can really work is if an
>> accessMode is a set of one or more *required user capabilities*.
>> Yes, I think that is what we are saying too.  In fact, it seems like
>> what others have understood on the public vocabs list as evidenced by:
>> To pick some examples:
>> Alice In Wonderland is available as a resource which only *requires*
>> the ability to read text.
>> We happen to have a few versions of Alice in Wonderland in Bookshare
>> that have been indexed by Google's Custom Search Engine, so let's
>> first search for a pure text version of it with no visual components:
>> cx=001043429226464649088:WMX1711548652&q=more:p:book-
>> accessmode:textual%20-more:p:book-accessmode:visual%20more:p:book-
>> name:alice%20in%20wonderland
>> If you inspect one of those titles using Yandex's webmaster tools or
>> Google's rich snippets tool that lets me just plug in a URL
>> parameter, we can see the accessibility microdata on that page:
>> As you can see we offer 4 different adaptations of that title, which
>> we originally adapted from a physical book that we scanned.  For
>> each adaptation we describe the accessModes that are used.
>> If I wanted to search for Alice in Wonderland as an audio book in
>> Bookshare we can do that and find that same title, since we offer
>> audio only adaptations on that page, such as DAISY Audio and MP3:
>> cx=001043429226464649088:WMX1711548652&q=more:p:book-
>> accessmode:auditory%20more:p:book-name:alice%20in%20wonderland
>> Here's another example that searches for books about history in
>> Bookshare where the images are either described with short (i.e.,
>> alt) or long descriptions (i.e., longdesc or DAISY prodnote):
>> cx=001043429226464649088:WMX1711548652&q=history%20more:p:book-
>> mediafeature:alternativetext,longdescription
>> This applies to several versions available from Project Gutenberg -
>> some of them have images, some don't, but in any case it is possible
>> to understand Alice in Wonderland without the pictures.
>> This is arguably not the case with kipling's "Just So Stories"
>> (likewise freely available), since there are intrinsic references to
>> the images - although it might be the case that the references are
>> sufficiently descriptive
>> If there is a movie of Alice In Wonderland available with captions,
>> then there are two sets of requirements. One is to be able to watch
>> a movie and listen to the audio, and the second set is to be able to
>> watch a movie and read the captions. (If it had descriptive audio, a
>> third would be being able to hear the descriptive audio and the main  
>> audio...)
>> That is the purpose of mediaFeature.  A movie typically has
>> accessModes of visual and auditory.  If it has captions, we simply
>> add a mediaFeature of captions and/or a mediaFeature of
>> audioDescription.  You can find an example in our Practical Properties  
>> Guide:
>> +Guide#PracticalPropertiesGuide-Video
>> Khan Academy has been collaborating with us on implementing this for
>> their videos and Gooru Learning's search engine will be indexing
>> this metadata to offer their users the ability to filter search
>> results to only videos that are captioned.  We hope that Google will
>> fix a "bug" with their current video search, which is demonstrated
>> by the below search on Wikimedia Commons for captioned videos of the
>> moon landing:
>> Though I checked and found moon landing videos on the Commons site
>> that are captioned, Google only displays results for videos that are
>> captioned from their own YouTube property for which they have that
>> information.
>> It might be that this assumption is already made in the proposal,
>> but it is not explicit, and the proposal doesn't explain how to deal
>> with a single version that can be used with different sets of
>> capabilities (whereasit includes a way to point to other versions)
>> allows for multiple values for the same property.  For
>> example, take a look at the example properties for ingredients at
>> the bottom of this page:
>> == details in accessMode ==
>> the top-level accessMode is only useful for "most" cases. Knowing
>> that I am physically capable of watching and listening to a video is
>> great, unless it is only available in a format I cannot use such as
>> "flash for my iPhone 3", "ogg theora/vorbis"....
>> already has a properties for formats (e.g., http://
>> , )
>> Similarly if I have more detailed requirements. For example although
>> I can watch and hear a video tutorial, being red-green colourblind
>> or requiring very high contrast may mean I can't actually understand
>> it in practice.
>> For those use cases, we have accessMode = colorDependent and  
>> mediaFeature =
>> = accessFeature =
>> It isn't clear what the requirements and use cases are for  
>> accessFeature.
>> Are these just cataloguing information, similar to noting that a
>> physical book has 5 pages of color photographs, or a guarantee that
>> e.g. each image has alternative text, or a longer description is
>> provided as necessary?
>> We thought that implementing AfA or ISO 24751 verbatim for the
>> purposes of web search and for use by web masters would be too
>> complicated: it needed to be a small set of properties that a user
>> could deal with. We decided to combine various ideas into
>> mediaFeature.  mediaFeature simply states that the author/publisher
>> or someone who modified that book, tried to take advantage the
>> stated accessibility features.  For example we make no promise that
>> every image was described appropriately, since it is hard to define
>> that by a single person and actually different consumers of the
>> information may have different opinions about the quality and
>> coverage of the image descriptions.
>> It seems that they are the former - interesting information that
>> might lead to expectations of the resource described. They don't
>> seem well-enough specified to know if I can rely on them. And the
>> list seems somewhat arbitrary.
>> It isn't clear, for example, how to classify a resource that assumes
>> the ability to touch several points of a screen at once, which is
>> now a common feature on devices but poses an obvious potential
>> problem to some users such as those who don't have very many fingers.
>> In this use case, the resource that needs to be described is an
>> application, not the content.  If the accessibility API of this
>> application supports multi-touch with the user's AT, then the
>> proposed ATCompatible and accessAPI properties should be relevant.
>> Furthermore, we also have a property called controlFlexibility,
>> which also should provide information about whether the application
>> can be fully controlled either via audio, mouse, keyboard, touch or
>> video/gestures.
>> = adaptations, other versions, ... =
>> Liddy has pointed out that the concept of "the original" is only
>> sometimes interesting, and that it isn't an accessibility concept
>> but a more general one related to creative works.
>> Actually to a teacher, the "original" is important if they are
>> trying to find a resource for a disabled student that is an
>> adaptation of the "original" resource used by the rest of the
>> students in the classroom who don't have a disability.  Similarly a
>> publisher or book seller wants to make it easy for consumers with
>> specialized needs to find resources that have been adapted or "made
>> accessible."  These adaptations properties are also derived from AfA
>> and ISO 24751 and I think it's worthwhile reading their
>> specifications to understand  their reasoning. We did simplify the
>> terms (removing partial adaptation and the like) to simplify this
>> for search purposes.
>> I think it sometimes matters and sometimes doesn't ("born-digital"
>> works don't necessarily have a canonical original form, but may be
>> served in very different forms to different users).
>> I think we should generally not try to coin accessibility-specific
>> ways of talking about different versions of acreative work. FRBR and
>> its many analogous efforts already deal with this issue, and we
>> should just use whatever adopts where we need it. A
>> generic "anotherVersion" relation is probably the most commonly
>> required thing anyway.
>> This isn't high priority, except that I think we should quickly
>> decide we want to avoid dealing with defining stuff that others have
>> spent decades on, and instead try to use their work...
>> = ATCompatible =
>> being a boolean seems a bit naive. I can think of lots of resources
>> that work with specific assistive technologies, but fail with others
>> (my instant example is which
>> works great on VoiceOver but as far as I can tell does nothing to
>> work effectively with the built-in MacOS magnifier - two assistive
>> technologies I have readily available...).
>> In the case of content, we once again, we tried to simplify the work
>> for web masters and searchers.  Since we can always expand the
>> vocabulary, we decided to err on simplicity, and to just have the
>> focus on whether accessible technology was considered; enumerating
>> WCAG sections would be overly daunting in a search. In the case of
>> applications, we did provide greater granularity with the accessAPI
>> property, which would differentiate what accessibility API, such as
>> VoiceOver, the application is compatible with.
>> I don't think ATCompatible is the first priority for fixing. But I
>> do think it should be replaced with something because I don't think
>> it is very useful.
>> = Evolution =
>> Who looks after the terms, and how do they get extended?
>> This is probably the problem with any proposal.  By
>> basing this proposal on existing standards, such as AfA and ISO
>> 24751, it will be easier to evolve these terms as more people and
>> organizations (e.g., IMS, GPII, IDPF) will be invested in keeping
>> these terms synchronized with other standards and technologies. We
>> believe that there are some efforts with 24751 to have a registry to
>> assist in this process.
>> Some things are pretty basic and could be reliably laid down - the
>> ability to see or hear is something that we more or less understand.
>> But others, such as interacting with new types of device, will
>> probably change. Pointer and especially touch interfaces have
>> changed a lot in this century, voice interfaces are starting to do
>> so, and gestural things like Wii and Kinect are beginning to appear
>> more often too.
>> That's enough comment for now. Hopefully I've clarified the main
>> threads that I think need action (some more urgently than others).
>> cheers
>> Chaals
>> --
>> Charles McCathie Nevile - Consultant (web standards) CTO Office, Yandex
>><>         Find  
>> more at

Charles McCathie Nevile - Consultant (web standards) CTO Office, Yandex         Find more at

Received on Friday, 6 September 2013 00:15:38 UTC