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RE: Accessibility and Web Fonts

From: Cohn, Jonathan <jcohn@air.org>
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2016 17:06:33 +0000
To: Adam Powell <adam@adaminfinitum.com>, Chaals from Yandex <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
CC: "Michael A. Peters" <mpeters@domblogger.net>, "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <D4E17BB4A450CA4F8D8BD4229635316C0A5BADC4@DC1VEX10MB01.air.org>
My reading of that specification is that the media type of speech is not for screen readers, but instead for web over the phone or equivalents. Specifically it states that screen is anything that is not speech and not print.

Best wishes,


From: Adam Powell [mailto:adam@adaminfinitum.com]
Sent: Friday, November 25, 2016 8:33 PM
To: Chaals from Yandex <chaals@yandex-team.ru>
Cc: Michael A. Peters <mpeters@domblogger.net>; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Accessibility and Web Fonts

Hi All,
Sorry if any of this is repetitive, I skimmed the previous dialogue and didn't see it.

This is my go-to article on font-face syntax (addresses cross-browser and backwards compatibility issues):

Much like Mr. Peters, I usually try to limit my font-face declarations to basic families like serif, sans-serif, monospace etc. but that is so that users on any platform get an aesthetically pleasing rendering of the fonts, not really for accessibility reasons.

However, using a very general CSS selector like `html {font-family: sans-serif;}` makes it really easy for users to override that choice via browser preferences (that rule has very low specificity).

According to this discussion that might also make it more accessible (because it's easy to customize), especially to dyslexic users.

Perhaps also worth noting is that there is a 'media' type available for use in media queries that is specific to screenreaders:

While not useful in dyslexia, it might be useful in other accessibility contexts.

Adam Powell
website: abacusadvertising.com<http://abacusadvertising.com>

On Fri, Nov 25, 2016 at 7:33 PM, <chaals@yandex-team.ru<mailto:chaals@yandex-team.ru>> wrote:
You should hunt down the work that Luz Rello did with Ricardo Baeza-Yates on dyslexia, as presented e.g. at Open Web Camp: http://openwebcamp.com/sessions/dyslexia-what-have-we-learned-so-far/

Which is a more complete look at the question - and what helps and doesn't…


26.11.2016, 00:51, "Michael A. Peters" <mpeters@domblogger.net<mailto:mpeters@domblogger.net>>:
> Okay I believe the issue with SVG fonts over WOFF/WOFF2 was something I
> mis-interpreted. I had read something on an Opera developer blog that
> gave me that impression but I can not find it. I suspect it was a
> mis-understanding on my part.
> What I did find however is that people with dyslexia often have an
> easier time with sans-serif fonts, fonts with good distinct ascenders /
> descenders, fonts where b and d are not mirrors (or close mirrors), same
> with p and q, fonts with spacing so that 'modern' doesn't look to
> similar to 'modem', fonts where I l and 1 are distinct, and many seem to
> prefer a rounded g.
> What would be cool is to see peer reviewed research into font
> characteristics and how they impact dyslexia so that web designers can
> either use fonts that are good with dyslexia or offer an alternate style
> sheet that only uses fonts good for people with dyslexia.
> Some kind of a standard API where the browser could inform the server of
> the preference would also be nice (header) but would be yet another
> browser fingerprint metric so maybe that's not a good idea, but maybe
> what could be done is something could be done with @font-face in CSS
> where the declared webfont can be different if the user has their
> browser set up to prefer dyslexia friendly fonts. e.g.
> @font-face {
>    font-family: 'primaryFont-Regular';
>    src: url('/webfonts/argent-cf.woff2') format('woff2'),
>      url('/webfonts/argent-cf.woff') format('woff');
>    dys-src('/webonts/somethingelse.woff2') format('woff2'),
>      url('/webfonts/somethingelse.woff') format('woff');
>    font-weight: normal;
>    font-style: normal;
> }
> That way if someone tells their browser they are dyslexic, with webfonts
> it could look for dys-src (or whatever) and use that if present, falling
> back to src when it isn't present.
> dys-src would only need to be used when the font in src is problematic
> with dyslexia.
> One issue I found is that many fonts that reportedly help people with
> dyslexia (anectodal evidence though) made text harder for me to read,
> which is why I am thinking dys-src (or whatever) may sometimes be better
> than just using it as the primary font. That though would have to be
> brought to the W3C.
> Thoughts?
> On 11/24/2016 11:18 PM, Michiel Bijl (list) wrote:
>>  Hi Michael,
>>  This is the first time I’ve heard of SVG font’s being used in that way.
>>  Especially considering SVG fonts have been removed from SVG 2.0 and
>>  considered a deprecated feature. For example, they were removed from
>>  Chrome 37 onwards. Some people with dyslexia that I know replace web
>>  fonts altogether, whether that be SVG, OTF. WOFF, or something else
>>  doesn’t matter.
>>  Cheers.
>>  —Michiel
>>>  On 24 Nov 2016, at 19:29, Michael A. Peters <mpeters@domblogger.net<mailto:mpeters@domblogger.net>
>>>  <mailto:mpeters@domblogger.net<mailto:mpeters@domblogger.net>>> wrote:
>>>  I usually don't do more than specify the broad type of font (e.g.
>>>  sans-serif) but for a project I am currently working on, I am making
>>>  use of web fonts.
>>>  Commercial web fonts came with woff, woff2, and svg
>>>  However in converting some FLOSS fonts to webfonts - I only made woff
>>>  and woff2 versions.
>>>  It was suggested to me that making SVG fonts available is of benefit
>>>  to people with certain types of dyslexia, apparently they can be
>>>  rendered in a way that make the dyslexia less of an impact.
>>>  Is that really the case or do ttf repackaged in woff/woff2 work just
>>>  as well? And if woff/woff2 do not work just as well, is there anything
>>>  special that needs to be done when preparing the svg fonts and/or
>>>  making the client aware they exist?
>>>  I'm having trouble finding information on it.
>>>  Thank you for anyone who knows, and happy Thanksgiving to those of us
>>>  in the United States :)
Charles McCathie Nevile - standards - Yandex
chaals@yandex-team.ru<mailto:chaals@yandex-team.ru> - - - Find more at http://yandex.com

Received on Monday, 28 November 2016 17:07:22 UTC

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