PF Response: @Summary

The following consensus was reached by Protocols and Formats Working Group
during its teleconference of Wednesday, 3 June 2009:

We request the table summary tag be restored in HTML 5 as per previous communications:


Summary serves a need, and serves it well. It is familiar to users. It is
supported in browsers. It is properly utilized on many web sites which strive
to be accessible.

*	If it didn't exist, we'd need to invent it. Indeed, such alternative
*	approaches as have been proposed constitute a "reinvention" of
*	summary. PF wishes to move on to address accessibility concerns in
*	areas, such as canvas, where no good solution currently exists rather
*	than reinventing summary.

*	We reject the argument that summary should be removed from the HTML
*	specification because it is not implemented on most web sites. We note
*	that accessibility is poorly supported on most web sites. The wider
*	web is not an example of good practice.

*	We need summary for backward compatibility.

*	We note that summary is often used as a technique for accessibility
*	support where governmental regulations require governmental web sites to be
*	accessible. An example is the U.S. Government's Social Security
*	Administration (SSA) pages as SSA conforms to its "Section 508."
*	mandate:

*	If summary is removed, U.S. Government web sites, might find it more
*	difficult to conform to HTML 5. We further note that Section 508
*	regulations apply to U.S. state and local governments, and that
*	similar accessibility requirements are emerging in Canada, the U.K.,
*	the E.U., Australia, and elsewhere.

*	Restoring summary in HTML 5 would not, in our understanding, negatively
*	impact HTML 5 in any way.

Janina Sajka,	Phone:	+1.202.595.7777;
Partner, Capital Accessibility LLC	http://CapitalAccessibility.Com

Marketing the Owasys 22C talking screenless cell phone in the U.S. and Canada
Learn more at http://ScreenlessPhone.Com

Chair, Open Accessibility	
Linux Foundation

Chair, Protocols & Formats
Web Accessibility Initiative
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

Received on Thursday, 4 June 2009 00:03:12 UTC