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WAI HC, IG accessibility review

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 17:12:58 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <199710222112.RAA23681@access1.digex.net>
To: w3c-html-wg@w3.org, w3c-css-wg@w3.org
Cc: w3c-wai-hc@w3.org
Here is an overview of the results of the accessibility review of 
HTML4 and CSS2.  Please use the copy on the Web at

 http://www.w3.org/WAI/group/HC/report.html

to access details of proposals and rationale.

Thanks,

-- Al Gilman
for the HC team and the WAI

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 Report of the HTML4/CSS2 Accessibility Review
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   Last revised October 22. 1997
   
   This web page provides a guide to materials supporting the WAI review
   of HTML4 and CSS2 recommendations nominated by the HC Working Group
   and reviewed by the WAI Interest Group.
   
   Pointers to detailed proposals is included. The recommendations are
   summarized very tersely here, and decorated with a few links to
   influential source materials.
   
   This page will be maintained to try to keep it within 24 hours of
   current with respect to current discussion during the period from
   October 15th to Nov 10th.
   
How to use this document

   Monitor this document at  http://www.w3c.org/WAI/group/HC/guide.html.
   
   Where this document refers to messages in the email archives, please
   take advantage of the thread index to read related discussion before
   and after the cited message.
   
   If discussing these proposals in the HTML or CSS working groups,
   please cross-post to w3c-wai-hc@w3.org as well.
   
Review of the issues

   The five thread-starters have symbolic names to help keep the
   discussions straight. Please use these naming conventions in your
   replies to facilitate dialog on the list-serve. The threads are:
     * OPTION -- Making SELECT structures with lots of OPTIONs
       comprehensible
     * TABLE -- Making TABLEs comprehensible
     * DESC -- Text associated with images
     * REF -- Associating HTML contents with external documents
     * MEDIA -- Classifying user display and control
     _________________________________________________________________
   
  OPTION -- Making SELECT structures with lots of OPTIONs comprehensible.
  
   Suggested WAI recommendations from HC Working Group:
     * A choice of two proposals at the level of functionality comparable
       to the original proposal.
     * OPTION message sent to the IG mailing list on Oct 16th.
     * Clarify what is actually critical for accessibility in this area
       by discussion with the Interest Group.
     * Original proposal from Megazone.
     _________________________________________________________________
   
  TABLE -- Making TABLEs comprehensible.
  
   Suggested WAI recommendations from HC Working Group:
     * TABLE message sent to the IG mailing list on Oct 16th.
     * The  baseline operational concept in the HC mail archives should
       be regarded as having a rough consensus of support. The
       implication is that the HTML should contain enough information for
       browsers to perform these functions.
     * Seek table reformatting functions from browser providers; refer
       issue to WAI Browser Guidelines group for further work.
     * add  SCOPE attribute.
     * Clarify summary attribute to say that where there is a caption,
       the summary should be written as if it will be said after the
       caption.
     * address classes of tables (read by columns, read by rows, etc.) in
       the markup guidelines using the existing CLASS attribute. Refer to
       WAI Markup Guidelines group for further development, in
       cooperation with the Browser Guidelines Working Group.
     * Implement  LINK and META enhancements in HTML4 to support
       experimentation by the WAI activities.
     _________________________________________________________________
   
  DESC -- Text associated with images
  
   Background -- for reference: variety of practices integrating image
   descriptions and image alternatives with images in hypertext
   literature. See the GL group area. Suggested WAI recommendations from
   HC Working Group:
     * DESC message sent to the IG mailing list on Oct 16th.
     * Work with LONGDESC on IMG; normally inlined in the absense of
       image display
     * ADD TITLE and LONGDESC to FRAME and IFRAME
     * OBJECT contents scanned for links with AREA on them which function
       like a MAP entry when the image DATA of the object is displayed.
     _________________________________________________________________
   
  REF -- Associating HTML contents with external resources.
  
   Uses or requirements:
     * Data publishers may wish to link TABLE to a resource (URL) which
       clarifies data usage in the table.
     * It is not safe to assume that all tables in one HTML document are
       to be associated with the same such data dictionary (or rough
       equivalent).
     * Audio output [in general, not just for persons with disabilities]
       will want access to pronunciation dictionaries.
     * Acronyms and foreign languages are other applications for such
       links.
     * Stylesheets selectively applied to quotes etc.
       
   Suggested WAI recommendations from HC Working Group:
     * REF message sent to the IG mailing list on Oct 16th.
     * Seek review from RDF group
     * Implement at least enough  LINK and META enhancements to ensure
       that dictionaries, including data dictionaries, can be TARGETed to
       an arbitrary HTML container element.
     _________________________________________________________________
   
  MEDIA -- Classifying user display and control
  
   Introduction to the  MEDIA types issue.
   
   Suggested WAI recommendations from HC Working Group:
     * MEDIA message sent to the IG mailing list on Oct 17th.
     * add another top-level media type named either CONSOLE or TTY for
       character-grid and line-mode displays
     * change wording around list of predefined MEDIA values to make the
       list extensible. A browser _may_ ignore media indications that do
       not match this list.
     * Refer further work on how browser should handle this to browser
       guidelines group.
     _________________________________________________________________
   
Lesser issues

   The following issues have been discussed in the HC group but appear to
   be straighforward or otherwise not meriting a lot of discussion in the
   brief time we have for Interest Group review.
   
  Preserving the logical reading order of text.
  
    Example of problems as documented in the TRACE guidelines.
   
   Suggested WAI recommendations from HC Working Group:
     * Browser functions to crack tables referred to Browser Guidelines
       WG for refinement.
     * Explicit order-of-reading markup of text fragments referred to
       Markup Guidelines working group for consideration.   LINK and META
       enhancements to be implemented in in HTML4 to give the guidelines
       group enough capability to work with.
       
   For background, search  The HC list archives for "order". Browse both
   quarters; the thread runs over.
   
  Image used as list bullet
  
   The issue has to do with text alternatives to list bullets defined by
   an image file.
   
   Suggested WAI recommendations from HC Working Group:
     * No change required to HTML.
     * Continue work with CSS group in Markup Guidelines activity of WAI.
       
  Controlling dynamic features
  
   Gregg Vanderheiden copied over  a good summary by Kelly Ford. For more
   background search the webwatch-l  digest archive for "dynamism".
   
   Suggested WAI recommendations from HC Working Group:
   Refer to Browser Guidelines and Markup Guidelines for further
   consideration.
     _________________________________________________________________
   
  CSS2 review
  
   The CSS2 spec being still under development, we haven't reached the
   same level of reviewing in this area.
   
   The HC message Regarding CSS2 summarizes our position.
     _________________________________________________________________
     _________________________________________________________________
   
   Enter your e-mail address to receive e-mail (courtesy of NetMind) when
   this page is updated: ____________________ ________
   
   
    Daniel Dardailler, Project Manager of the W3C Web Accessibility
    Initiative Working Group
    Al Gilman, Chair of the WAI HTML4/CSS2 (HC) Review Working Group
Received on Wednesday, 22 October 1997 17:13:17 UTC

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