[Irl-dean] Last Call Working Draft of WCAG 2.0!

Joshue O Connor joshue.oconnor at ncbi.ie
Fri Apr 28 16:03:39 IST 2006

Hi Sorcha,

I have only had a cursory look through the draft but I am very happy with what I have seen so far. I am glad to see issues such as sufficient colour contrast being brought further up the hierarchy, in terms of its importance, as insufficient colour contrast is a very serious issue that effects many older people and those with vision impairments, and can frustrate their attempts to use the web.

Seeing the "provision of synchronized alternatives for multimedia" is also a great step. The web is such a cauldron of inaccessible multimedia formats and the techniques do exist to get it so right.  For multimedia alternatives, there is obviously already provision to  some degree within the existing WCAG guidelines, but I think this checkpoint will specifically target authors and encourage them to incorporate captioning etc into their multimedia projects from the very beginning. Doing so should be encouraged as a standard practice. Flash also has great promise in this area, with the ability to embed video files. The author can then place synchronized/captioned content in a timeline layer, allowing the user to trigger its visibility via the keyboard or similar user agent controls. 

I suppose this approach is more like "simulated captioning" and  I'm sure Quicktime and others will step up (if they haven't already) with captioning features in their software.

I am also very glad to see 2.1 "Make all functionality operable by keyboard". This is such an important issue and brings keyboard navigation out of the "closet" by explicitly mentioning it in the guidelines and not in the subtext as a by product of writing good clean semantically correct markup.

Anyway, there are just a few thoughts.


Joshue O Connor

Senior Web Accessibility Consultant

Centre for Inclusive Technology (CFIT)
National Council for the Blind of Ireland

Website: http://www.cfit.ie
E-Mail: joshue.oconnor at cfit.ie
Tel: 01 8821980 

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