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RE: Voiceover detection in JavaScript

From: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 2013 13:54:25 -0400
Message-ID: <5a5fd143f0d94c5a9092a41bc98fd30d@mail.gmail.com>
To: Bryan Garaventa <bryan.garaventa@whatsock.com>, Alastair Campbell <alastc@gmail.com>
Cc: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Bryan, all the things you mention scrollable divs, carousels, and videos
that play automatically are issues for other users with disabilities
including those with motor impairments, low vision, and cognitive
impairments.  Any WCAG conformant solution would require the ability to
control these for all users not just users of VoiceOver.

Jonathan


-----Original Message-----
From: Bryan Garaventa [mailto:bryan.garaventa@whatsock.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2013 1:35 PM
To: Alastair Campbell
Cc: WAI Interest Group
Subject: Re: Voiceover detection in JavaScript

"It might be easy, but it's unlikely to be a good idea for web sites/apps.
That line of thinking leads to user-agent specific apps and sites, rather
than making things accessible to the widest audience."

Actually that's incorrect. Limiting the resources that are available to
developers to solve basic and simple accessibility issues by requiring
full UI changes makes it more likely that such accessibility issues will
be ignored.

Here are three simple examples of this.

Scrollable Divs are present all over the web, however they are extremely
difficult to use with Voiceover running. The simplest solution for this is
to provide two buttons, Scroll Up and Scroll Down, so that Voiceover users
can simply tap them to scroll the content. However this is highly
undesirable for visual UI designers and will never be included.

Carousels with dynamically rotating content are also present everywhere,
but can be very confusing for Voiceover users, when the content keeps
changing as you try to read it.

Videos that play automatically when a page loads are another issue, which
is fine for sighted users, but is very difficult for Voiceover users who
can't hear Voiceover reliably when trying to read the content of the page
to find the player controls when the video keeps playing.

So here is a simple solution

Add an event, such as 'voiceoverStateChanged' to Safari, which when
triggered, updates a global Boolean in the browser, such as
window.isVoiceoverRunning. When True, Voiceover is running, and when
False, it's not.
As a state change event, this can be tapped into in the same way that
touch events are, so that this detection can be automatic.

Now, if this were the case.

Scrollable Divs could have navigation buttons dynamically added when
Voiceover is running, and removed when it is not.

Carousels can be automatically stopped when Voiceover is running, or
continue when it is not.

Automatically playing videos can be stopped onLoad when Voiceover is
running, or play when it is not.

There are an infinite number of ways where this would be beneficial for
accessibility, and none that I can see where this would cause negative
issues to occur.



----- Original Message -----
From: "Alastair Campbell" <alastc@gmail.com>
To: "Bryan Garaventa" <bryan.garaventa@whatsock.com>
Cc: "WAI Interest Group" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2013 1:54 AM
Subject: Re: Voiceover detection in JavaScript


> Bryan Garaventa wrote:
>> That's quite a deficiency, since it should be fairly easy to implement
>> the
>> checker in Safari by querying the objects within the native iOS
platform,
>> in
>> the same way that Windows browsers do for COM objects.
>
> It might be easy, but it's unlikely to be a good idea for web
> sites/apps. That line of thinking leads to user-agent specific apps
> and sites, rather than making things accessible to the widest
> audience.
>
> If you share what it is you're trying to achieve, perhaps there is a
> web-friendly way of doing that?
>
> -Alastair
>
Received on Tuesday, 2 April 2013 17:54:50 UTC

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