Re: Are Small Text buttons level 2 compliant

Glad you raised that points (really) because I'm sure other people, people 
perhaps more shy than yourself, are thinking the same thing.

First of all, the lawyerly position: Doesn't matter what technologies are 
available: the guidelines say what they say, so the statement that 
something violates a checkpoint is true regardless.

But we can do better than that.

I don't think using a screen magnifier is as good as enlarging fonts.

1. When you enlarge fonts, text wraps at the margins, instead of expanding 
into a virtual space wider than the screen (assuming the page was well 
designed).    When the virtual page is wider than the screen, you have to 
scroll left and right as well as up and down, which makes it harder to stay 
oriented.  So enlarging fonts is better.
2. With magnification, user is no longer able to control the font.  Some 
fonts are better than others.
3. Some people with low vision need reverse contrast.  If the buttons are 
already reverse contrast, then if they reverse the whole screen to read 
other body text, the buttons get normal contrast.  So they have to keep 
flipping the contrast depending on where they are.
4. Similarly, if all you can do is an overall screen color map, you can't 
get all the text, buttons and body, to have optimal color.

In short, direct control of font, size, and color of all text is better 
than a magnifier.

As for turning off images to see the alt text versions of the buttons: 
well, then the person with low vision is missing other images on the 
screen, images which may be used appropriately.

Also, do browsers allow full CSS control of font, color, size of ALT 
text?  (I don't know the answer to that one).


At 09:25 AM 9/26/00 -0700, Kynn Bartlett wrote:
>At 12:08 PM -0400 9/26/00, Leonard R. Kasday wrote:
>>I don't think it satisfies the user requirements for people with some 
>>degree of low vision, especially if the font size is relatively small.
>Devil's advocate position here:
>Doesn't the widespread availability of screen magnifiers (such as the
>one built into Windows 2000), plus the availability of screenreaders to
>read out the textual content, plus the ability to turn off images and
>view the text directly (thus scaling with user font changes), reduce
>the need for avoiding textual images?
>If we don't have to worry about providing audio streams -- because
>screenreaders exist -- then shouldn't the existence of the various
>technologies listed above likewise ease our fears regarding text
>We are willing to say "oh, there's technology to deal with -that-"
>for a number of items, so where is the line drawn?  (If screenreaders
>did not exist, the obligation would be on the web designer to
>provide an aural output stream for everything, no?)
>Kynn Bartlett <>

Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP and Dept. of Electrical Engineering at Temple 
(215) 204-2247 (voice)                 (800) 750-7428 (TTY)

Chair, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Evaluation and Repair Tools Group

The WAVE web page accessibility evaluation assistant:

Received on Tuesday, 26 September 2000 13:57:47 UTC