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Re: Consistent ID (3.2.4), Link Purpose (2.4.4), and Multiple Ways (2.4.5)

From: Richard_Userite <richard@userite.com>
Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2009 06:20:23 +0100
Message-ID: <8F289D06916A4F208173F5ECD4FDD363@dimension>
To: "Andrew Kirkpatrick" <akirkpat@adobe.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
I may have been a bit hasty. Not specifying the non-html nature of a link breaks guideline 2.4.9. (Unless there is no other indication on the page that the links are not HTML. If there is no other indication everyone is disadvantaged by not knowing the link is to a non-html document, so disabled people are not more disadvantaged!).

If the page contains general instructions to the effect that "the following links are to PDF documents" (or PowerPoint presentations etc..) then the link text need not repeat the "PDF" bit to sighted users and the technique C7 could be applied so that assistive software that lists the links out of context does tell the user that it links to a non-html document.

>From a practical point of view my blind colleagues have real problems when demonstrating how they read a site if it contains non-html links without warnings in the link text. In extreme cases we have to shut down and start again. Personally I like to see the document format and size in link text as it shows attention to detail and shows that the author is concerned with the spirit as well as the letter of the guidelines. Sorry Phil - but I wish that 2.4.9 were at a higher priority level than AAA

There is (as far as I know) no case law yet with regard to this specific issue. However for someone who is clearly aware of the WAI guidelines to build a site that does not comply with the guidelines is almost certainly not "taking reasonable care to provide a similar level of service". As such they would not be complying with the DDA Code of Practice (2006) section 6.3. (The duty to make reasonable adjustments is a cornerstone of the Act and requires service providers to take positive steps to ensure that disabled people can access services).


----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Andrew Kirkpatrick 
  To: 'richard@userite.com' ; 'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org' ; 'pjenkins@us.ibm.com' 
  Sent: Wednesday, August 05, 2009 4:04 AM
  Subject: Re: Consistent ID (3.2.4), Link Purpose (2.4.4), and Multiple Ways (2.4.5)

  I don't see how you figure that not identifying a link as a different file type breaks any law, or accessibility guidelines. I don't believe this violates either wcag 2 or section 508 - there may be some other national policy that I'm not thinking of though, so can you elaborate?
  Andrew Kirkpatrick 
  Senior Product Manager, Accessibility 
  Adobe Systems 

  From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org 
  To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org ; Phill Jenkins 
  Sent: Tue Aug 04 16:34:57 2009
  Subject: Re: Consistent ID (3.2.4), Link Purpose (2.4.4), and Multiple Ways (2.4.5) 

  Hi Chris,
  ". . . My boss does not want me to show "PDF", "Text", "Word", "Powerpoint", in the text link." 

  Then your boss will have a website that does not comply with the accessibility guidlines and he is breaking the law.  

  Blind people cannot see the whole page like sighted users, so in order to help them get an idea of what the page contains they list the headings and links on a page before they start reading the text. If they hear a link text that sounds interesting and do not know that the link is not to an HTML page they can have real trouble. So also can users who have slow connections or do not have the appropriate reader installed on their computer. 

  Any links to non-html pages must specify the document format, and if the document is more than a few KBs in size, you should also indicate how big it is. People can then avoid it if it might take too long or crash their system.

  There is no option here. If you run a store with steps at the front and don't provide a ramp for wheelchair users you are denying them access to your store and are thus liable to prosecution. The same goes for a website.

  If you need to persuade your boss of his responsibilities I suggest you point him to http://lflegal.com/category/settlements/web-accessibility-settlements/ where he can see that even big firms have to make accessibility a priority.

    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Phill Jenkins 
    To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org 
    Sent: Tuesday, August 04, 2009 9:16 PM
    Subject: Re: Consistent ID (3.2.4), Link Purpose (2.4.4), and Multiple Ways (2.4.5)

    Chris Reeve write: 
    ". . . My boss does not want me to show "PDF", "Text", "Word", "Powerpoint", in the text link." 

    hmm, why do you want to hide the text "PDF", "Text", "Word", or "PowerPoint"?  Do not all users need to know which format they are clicking on?   

    Are you talking about replacing the text with icons for "PDF", "Text", "Word", or "PowerPoint"?   

    Or did you mean to say you want to hide the repetitive part of the resource title, such as "history of the Web" in the link text in more than one link such as "History of the Web in PDF format", "History of the Web in Word format", :"History of the Web in PowerPoint format", etc.? 

    Using technique C7 to hide the repetitive part only of the text in the resource title would seem to meet the success criteria to me for 2.4.9 Level AAA. 
     C7 http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20081211/C7.html 

    My concern is that what is the measured benefit of using C7?  I would think (though I have no data) that the bigger problem is this and most examples is with the user's understanding of the difference between PDF, Word, and HTML.  Microsoft PowerPoint or any other presentation format would look and feel different, but kinda hard to tell the difference between the same content in PDF, Word or HTML - the only difference is usually in the chrome around the content.   I believe we offer different format types because many user do in fact know the difference and want that particular format for assumed reasons that are later verified upon downloading and examining the resource. In my opinion adding repetitive link text does NOT make the difference between the format types any clearer or help the user any more to decide which to click on.   Good thing 2.4.9 is level AAA. 

    Phill Jenkins
Received on Wednesday, 5 August 2009 05:21:29 UTC

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