[WG: Accessibility] Sakai Accessibility Teleconference this week
gsilver at umich.edu
Thu Jul 30 10:57:16 PDT 2009
Sorry you will not be joining us. Some answers/comments.
Inclusion of aria attributes is an interesting issue. I started down that path and stopped after realizing that the real value of aria is in application or application segments that are dynamic in nature, and that browser support was lacking and validators complained bitterly about their usage. If you take a look at an old core tool like Announcements you will see that the toolbar is aria enriched, for example.
But - you surface an even more interesting issue. We have a large bundle of functionality in Sakai 2.x that by and large is not dynamic, or dom rearranging, or scripted, etc. Perhaps the way to proceed is to target Sakai 3 as a locus for aria enabled semantics, where they will be crucial given it's ajaxy ways, and leave the 2.x as is, which is generally fairly accessible in old school ways. Does that sound right?
Regarding the Forums branch that Clay brought up the manager of that process is David, I was the interface developer. We are not certain exactly what people are planning re testing. We are not sure how much effort we can put into implementing any changes recommended from that process. Our idea was that any testing would compare the branch with the stock version in order to determine if it is indeed an improvement, as that is the question Clay formulates. And this applies to accessibility as well. So it is not a simple matter of testing the branch, is what I am saying I guess. As I was reformatting the interface I also applied the accessibility checklist inasmuch as the underlying JSF view technology allowed, so any testing that involves a comparison will be positive I am sure.
I will be joining you all briefly at the appointed time. I wanted to introduce Scott Williams, the newly appointed head accessibility coordinator for the University of Michigan, who will be joining us.
On 7/30/09 1:34 PM, "Sean Keegan" <skeegan at gmail.com> wrote:
I will not be able to attend the meeting this morning (or afternoon depending on your timezone!), but wanted to provide a bit of feedback regarding forms and the Sakai Tool Accessibility Developer/QA Checklist.
Basically, my suggestion would be to add the last bullet item to the Form Structure section:
Forms should include the following tags and elements:
* <fieldset> tag--To group related sections of a form
* <legend> tag--To provide a label for each fieldset
* <label for> tag--For the text of each input or operation
* <id> element--To associate text with input or operation
* aria-required="true"--Use this attribute for input fields that are specified as "required"
For forms, this is fairly simple to implement and not really an issue. The other question I would have would be about the other ARIA regions and implementation of those aspects, specifically as it relates to document/page structure and dynamic content updates (see http://www.webaim.org/techniques/aria/ for more information). I am just not sure what either Sakai 2.7 or 3.x will provide in terms of these aspects so it may not be something to worry about now (or maybe it is). All I have seen of 3.x are screenshots but have not heard about actual functionality.
Also, I am not familiar with the level of knowledge of the developers - would they need actual code examples or is the above sufficient for their needs?
On the Sakai UX and QA discussion lists, there is some talk about conducting some testing in September regarding the Forums user interface (and possibly other modules). Clay Fenlason (clay.fenlason at et.gatech.edu) had originally raised the question of conducting some user testing of the Forums UI, not for accessibility but for general usability. I know Mike Elledge is on that list - former chair of this group - and he raised the possibility of testing accessibility as well. It may be good to coordinate with Clay or Mike from those groups to get involved (those in the accessibility group would likely have to do the actual accessibility evaluation and testing). David Haines (dlhaines at umich.edu) is the person who *I think* is responsible for the Forums component. In any case, I am not quite sure who would be the most appropriate to contact and offer it as a suggestion.
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