AT developer participation in HTML WG

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AT developer participation in HTML WG

bhawkeslewis
This email is really just a consciousness-raising exercise addressed at
the many AT developers who frequent this list. The W3C recently began
specifying a new version of HTML. The working group has been
deliberately been made an extremely open system, with many ordinary web
developers loosely participating as (self-)"invited experts", subject to
signing a patent policy:

http://www.w3.org/html/wg/

According to the current list of participants:

http://www.w3.org/2000/09/dbwg/details?group=40318&public=1

Apple and Microsoft are the only AT vendors currently participating; but
  they don't seem to have their accessibility hats on. The main screen
reader user who is participating is T V Raman, who of course typically
uses Emacspeak rather than a graphical browser like Firefox. So there is
a bit of disconnect between the current working group and more typical
AT usage such as Zoomtext and Internet Explorer or Window-Eyes and Firefox.

The Working Group is currently considering adopting WHATWG's draft for
HTML5:

http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/

One of the recent threads on the mailing list has discussed the
accessibility shortcomings of removing the summary and headers
attributes from HTML tables as the draft currently does:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007May/0012.html

WHATWG personnel have repeatedly expressed a desire to hear more from
accessibility experts.

But even web developers who are interested in accessibility are
typically not experienced users of screen readers, let alone rarer AT.
They are often unaware of their full featureset, typical usage, and
forced to guess the details of how AT interacts with markup.

Since access to the web is a fundamental role for modern AT and since
the WG needs to specify how web content should be written and parsed, it
would be a delight to see more AT developers keeping an eye on how
accessibility shapes up in the next version by participating in the
mailing lists and so on.

--
Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
_______________________________________________
dev-accessibility mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-accessibility
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Re: AT developer participation in HTML WG

Aaron Leventhal-3
My feeling is that the very best way to spot accessibility issues would be to
actually try and get it (and accessibility for it) implemented in something like
Firefox, at least as a build option or on a branch.

That's probably a prospect for the Firefox 4 timeframe though. In the meantime
you're right, someone familiar with ATs or exposing HTML to ATs (or both) should
give it an in-depth look.

Anyone game?

- Aaron


Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis wrote:

> This email is really just a consciousness-raising exercise addressed at
> the many AT developers who frequent this list. The W3C recently began
> specifying a new version of HTML. The working group has been
> deliberately been made an extremely open system, with many ordinary web
> developers loosely participating as (self-)"invited experts", subject to
> signing a patent policy:
>
> http://www.w3.org/html/wg/
>
> According to the current list of participants:
>
> http://www.w3.org/2000/09/dbwg/details?group=40318&public=1
>
> Apple and Microsoft are the only AT vendors currently participating; but
>  they don't seem to have their accessibility hats on. The main screen
> reader user who is participating is T V Raman, who of course typically
> uses Emacspeak rather than a graphical browser like Firefox. So there is
> a bit of disconnect between the current working group and more typical
> AT usage such as Zoomtext and Internet Explorer or Window-Eyes and Firefox.
>
> The Working Group is currently considering adopting WHATWG's draft for
> HTML5:
>
> http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/
>
> One of the recent threads on the mailing list has discussed the
> accessibility shortcomings of removing the summary and headers
> attributes from HTML tables as the draft currently does:
>
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007May/0012.html
>
> WHATWG personnel have repeatedly expressed a desire to hear more from
> accessibility experts.
>
> But even web developers who are interested in accessibility are
> typically not experienced users of screen readers, let alone rarer AT.
> They are often unaware of their full featureset, typical usage, and
> forced to guess the details of how AT interacts with markup.
>
> Since access to the web is a fundamental role for modern AT and since
> the WG needs to specify how web content should be written and parsed, it
> would be a delight to see more AT developers keeping an eye on how
> accessibility shapes up in the next version by participating in the
> mailing lists and so on.
>
> --
> Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis
_______________________________________________
dev-accessibility mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/dev-accessibility