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Re: Backgrounds and Accessibility

From: Jens Meiert <jens.meiert@erde3.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 09:02:45 +0200 (MEST)
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <17664.1051167765@www35.gmx.net>

I guess one thing stays unspoken: Usability and several accessibility
aspects (sometimes) are subjective. And I noticed that usability/accessibility
topics were mixed up with content related themes.

For some users white-on-black text might be legible, for others it is not.
For some users (and even the designers), some images (background or not) make
sense, others won't agree. There are far more examples, related to as well
accessibility as content... 'Common sense' is necessary, that's right...

 Jens Meiert.

> I see that WAI is managing to top itself.
> > Let's look at it from a common sense point of view.
> And when was the message going to start doing that?
> > If I have a black
> > background image and use white text against that black background image,
> > I just created a problem with accessibility that could be eliminated
> > with a little common sense.
> White text on a black background sounds like a nice legible
> combination to me. Isn't that what we use in, say, print?
> > Background images are of no real value.  Excessive graphics are arduous
> > and hold no true value except to make things look well for those visual
> > individuals.
> For "those people," in other words.
> In this simple paragraph, we at last see a confirmation that Web
> Accessibility Initiative contributors hold good visual design in
> outright contempt. Background images are, after all, "of no real
> value," it has been decreed.
> > Graphical text headers and graphical buttons
> > serve no real purpose or value except to the individual developing the
> > page or the site.
> ...and of course to the many readers who appreciate good visual
> design, including people with disabilities, such as deaf or
> mobility-impaired persons.
> Of course, those groups simply *are less important* than people with
> cognitive impairments, for whom the entire Web must be overthrown on
> the unproven contention that it will make the Web less inaccessible
> for them.
> > Background sounds are typically sound bytes of non-vocal types.
> Oh?
> > Therefore, they don't really offer any value to the hearing impaired.
> If we took this reasoning to its ultimate, non-vocal music programs
> would not be captioned, nor would any soundtrack orchestration. Are
> you ready to defend this denial of accessibility?
> > Background sounds with vocals are typically found in Flash, Shockwave,
> > QuickTime, and any other multimedia presentation - not a web page.
> You don't see any HTML on that page?
> Aren't they delivered by HTTP in cases other than dedicated streams?
> How do these multimedia presentations fail to be Web pages?
> > explanations clears that problem up.  Having the 20db difference between
> > background noise and the vocal part of the presentation should be
> > required and does present value of getting the sound engineer to
> > generate a larger difference between the vocals and background noise as
> > Mr. Clark points out.
> I also appreciate this confirmation that Web Accessibility
> Initiative contributors are now willing to micromanage, on pain of
> refusal of WAI accessibility certificate, the editing of every audio
> track on the Web.
> > Perhaps, we should change the issue from simply background images to the
> > background then it wouldn't make a difference if the browser does not
> > download useless and meaningless images just to be challenged by the
> > designer with no common sense.
> Ah, yes. Useless and meaningless images.
> Really, they all are, aren't they?
> > from the written text in the document.  I think this clearly clears up
> > the problem and adds a level of accessibility not previously
> > encountered.
> It does clarify the delusionalism and extremism of certain Web
> Accessibility Initiative proposed practices, yes. It even clearly
> clarifies them. What it *adds a level of* not previously encountered
> is, I think, something else.
> -- 
>   Joe Clark  |  joeclark@joeclark.org
>   Author, _Building Accessible Websites_
>   <http://joeclark.org/access/> | <http://joeclark.org/book/>

Jens Meiert

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Received on Thursday, 24 April 2003 03:02:52 UTC

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