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Re: Meeting with SVG, XHTML, WAI people to move forward on ARIA as a cross cutting technology

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2007 05:24:00 +0000 (UTC)
To: Richard Schwerdtfeger <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Cc: HTMLWG WG <public-html@w3.org>, XHTML2 WG <public-xhtml2@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0710180512570.19595@hixie.dreamhostps.com>

On Wed, 17 Oct 2007, Richard Schwerdtfeger wrote:
> We have a solution with ARIA that causes people with disabilities to be 
> able to access this new web.

I think that's overstating the case a little. The ARIA features don't make 
the Web magically accessible. They make Web pages *that use the 
attributes* accessible, assuming they are used correctly (which is 
non-trivial and hard to test).

There are other solutions which solve the same problem in different ways, 
in many cases without requiring the authors to specifically go out of 
their way to support users with disabilities (though these features still 
have to be used, and used correctly). [1]

There are no solutions that I'm aware of that will causes people with 
disabilities to be able to access this new web without authors changing 
their pages to use new features, which is what we really need.

[1] For example, providing more native widgets in the way that XForms and 
HTML5 do, or binding widgets found in the "semantic layer" (HTML, XForms) 
to specific styles and layouts in the "presentation layer" (SVG, CSS) 
using an explicit binding (CSS, XBL, XSLT). Most of these combinations of 
technologies are easier to test for most authors than ARIA would be, and 
thus more likely to actually make the Web accessible.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Thursday, 18 October 2007 05:24:11 UTC

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