SC #78 'Adapting text', and a question regarding consensus on icon fonts

I have a question in the context of a small exchange between participants about icon fonts on yesterday's call during the long discussion of the SC 78 "Adapting Text"

Link top current SC on Github:

I am not sure whether it is good practice to name participants in calls here on the list, so I don't.

The accessibility problems with icon fonts have been noted elsewhere. While there may be tools and customised style sheets for adaptation that may avoid causing havoc, the application of user style sheets the mandate a particular font overall may replace font-based icons and thus may make navigation visually unusable even where techniques assure the availability of accessible names for non-visual use.

Now on the call, there was insistence by one participant that the new SC 'Adapting text' must not rule out the use of icon fonts, and another participant assured that this would not be the case. I wasn't sure whether this reflected a WG consensus that I am not aware of. If it does, I would like to question that consensus.

Is the position of the AGWG not to introduce new requirements that would cause some sites (such as sites relying heavily on icon fonts) to fail WCAG 2.1?
We know that better, more accessible alternatives (SVG) exist. SCs like 'Adapting text' (and others) may in many cases warrant a redesign of sites where authors want to conform to 2.1.
If that seems too much trouble or too expensive, authors may still decide to conform to 2.0 and wait for Silver?

So in sum, I would like to discuss the rationale of people ruling out changes that would require work for existing sites to meet WCAG 2.1. 


Detlev Fischer
testkreis c/o feld.wald.wiese
Thedestr. 2, 22767 Hamburg

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Received on Thursday, 20 April 2017 08:07:38 UTC