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RE: Images of text -- P1 violation or no?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 13:20:50 -0400 (EDT)
To: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.0004131316300.15033-100000@tux.w3.org>

no the questio is whether end usres can make use of the resulting
content. How hard it is for the author doesn't really enter into it. 

There is a requireent on users to have appropriate assistive technology - for
example there is no reason why a person who is blind out to be able to expect
to read a monitor. The question is what are appropriate assistive
technologies - font magnification is available out of the box on nearly all
systems, for example, but speech output is not. So that changes what w can
expect people to have. The User Agent Guidelines are also important in this
contet - some things seem properly the responsibility of page authors, and
some properly the responsibility of user agents. In addition, there is the
question of what has to be done in the real world, where page authors and
user agents are not always perfect.

The guidelines are not written to make sure one group is included, but to mak
sure that no group is excluded. In addition, the working group is still
working, and is looking at a revised version, so feedback is of course


Charles McCN

On Thu, 13 Apr 2000, Bruce Bailey wrote:

  Dear Charles,
  Jeez, that was fast!  There is also the "theme" that priority schemes be
  independent of the UA and compatible with AT solutions.  I assume that the
  reasonably common work around you refer to is for the page authors!
  Avoiding .GIF'd text IS easy to do!  (In most cases, you don't even need
  To quote from the WCAG,
  [P1:]  One or more groups will find it impossible to access information in
  the document.  Satisfying this checkpoint is a basic requirement for some
  groups to be able to use Web documents.
  I think I've met both pieces of that litmus test.
  My "group" is persons with low vision who have merely average computer
  skills.  These people's disability is not so severe that they require AT
  screen magnification, but they do routinely make use of the standard
  built-in features of their computer and use only large text.  To be more
  precise, people who can not read text that is any smaller than 14 point bold
  sans-serif.  I don't think this definition of a disability group is
  artificial.  The WCAG specifically mentions people who "have difficulty
  reading or comprehending text".
  The distinction between P1 and P2 turns on the use of "impossible" versus
  For all practical purposes, having body text presented as an image, for the
  group I have defined IS a basic requirement for them to use Web documents.
  The WCAG makes some provisions for persons with cognitive impairments.
  Expecting little old ladies to use AT (even a hand lens, they could easily
  have motor impairment after all) or to reconfigure their browser/OS as
  needed on problem pages is NOT reasonable!
  3.1 could stay as it is, especially since it's conditional.  I would like to
  see something clearer like:
  P1:  Do not use images to provide body text content.
  I wish I had spotted this a year ago!
  > -----Original Message-----
  > From: Charles McCathieNevile [mailto:charles@w3.org]
  > Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2000 11:47 AM
  > To: Bruce Bailey
  > Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
  > Subject: Re: Images of text -- P1 violation or no?
  > I think you have indeed answered your own question. P1 means it
  > is accessible
  > - there is a reasonably common work-around. P2 means that it is
  > not difficult
  > to do the workaround (in very rough terms).
  > The working group tended to very strict interpretation of the
  > priority scheme
  > in assigning priorities to checkpoints.
  > Charles McCN

Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053
Postal: GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001,  Australia 
Received on Thursday, 13 April 2000 13:20:59 UTC

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