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Minutes of the Open A11y Expert Handlers SIG Call 2008/11/10

Preliminary Business


  • Neil Soiffer (NS/chair)
    • Vladmir Bulatov (VB)
    • Pete Brunet (PB)
    • Mick Curran (MC)
    • Gregory J. Rosmaita (GJR/scribe)
    • Janina Sajka (JS)
    • Jamie Teh (JT)
      • regrets: Alexander Surkov


NS: work for Design Science - developed math accessibility plug-in for browsers; interested in standardization so every UA makes appropriate calls

VB: work for ViewPlus - goal is to make it possible to have SVG accessible to end users

MC: work on NVDA screen reader; expert handlers and ability to use specialized content markup will effect us as AT developer

JT: also work on NVDA

GJR: vice-chair, webmaster and listmaster for Open A11y

PB: chair of IAccessible2 group

JS: chair of Open A11y Workgroup, co-chair of WAI Protocols & Formats Working Group

Agenda Review

Approval of Last Meeting's Minutes

Review of Action Items Assigned at the 2008/11/03 Handlers Call

  • ACTION: Janina - send email concerning potential time change for Expert Handlers calls
    • status: done
  • ACTION: GJR: - ensure that there are links to examples/test suites in Specialized Content Markup Language Reference
    • status: done

Minutes of Expert Handlers Conference Call 2008/11/10

Topic 1: Changing the Time of Expert Handlers Calls

For Reference

chair's executive decision rendered discussion moot

Topic 2: Specialized Content Markup Languages

JS: if MLs going to be supported not by expert handler; additional tweaks to parsing abilities of DTB tool; handlers important

NS: skepticism - NewsML text based without structural problems; won't ARIA markup take care of everything

GJR: not ARIA 1.0

MC: depends upon where going to be used in wider community; is NewsML going to be used in wider community would want to support it

JS: basic reason for this activity existing is that discipline-specific markup will use third party expert handler rather than waiting for or expecting UA developers to expand parser capabilities; not responsibility of assisstive tech to know all XML-dialects, but can handle input/ouput via an expert handler

JS: when we held our meeting during the IA2 hour there was a request to collect list of markups and point to test suites and examples

GJR: page existed; updated it

VB: working with blind users i have learned that they feel very strongly about working with the same materials as others; 1 material for all users, blind or not; don't want to funnel blind users into blind pigeonholes

GJR: SVG is invaluable for screen magnification, for assisting some individual with cognative disorders disambiguate an image, but it is not the only solution if SVG being generated from a data set, that data set should be deliverable from 1 document to many modalities; not just for the blind -- those engaged in concentration-heavy activities, may not have the luxury of interpreting a visual rendering of the data set they need, so they would prefer re-purposed data set to something more appropriate for their situation; this topic recently arose on the public-svg-ig emailing list, as a response to a SVG Challenge -- virtual weather station, in which i argued both for accessible SVG with foreknowledge that SVG -- although the best means of presenting graphis, does-not-fit all, and the very positive response from the original challanger

MC: theoretical domain-specific weather graphing markup language -- can go further down into something else; single end point not multiple end points

VB: 90% of graphics - graphics is final product -- cannot change whole world

GJR: nothing wrong with graphics if programatically labeled and adequately described, but output needs to be tailored to needs and capacities of user; better to use same basic data set behind SVG graphic to deliver appropriate content to user

VB: impossible to make initial model to create different presentations; people take a lot of effort in making graphics

GJR: i'm not saying don't use SVG -- in fact, i'm saying: 1) use SVG; 2) if SVG being generated from data set, don't force user to deal with SVG with accessibility overlay (ARIA plus Access Module), 3) ensure that the SVG is as accessible as possible, but data-to-SVG-to-non-graphical output is poor substitute for using XML or XHTML2 to provide one source which can be served to meet individual users needs and capacities, and with graphics this is a problem because of after-the-fact accessibility overlays; also, there are those of us who cannot use tactile graphics of any type due to neuropathy

VB: in ideal world from one many but in real world, things are different

GJR: out of one comes many

MC: want higher, more abstract form of markup

JS: if SBO uses SVG then they should have an ontology of meaning that isn't dependent upon a picture

JS: similar for math

NS: MathPlayer maps to MSAA - if want richer interface (synchronized highlight) can send documentation to Mick and Jamie

MC: that would be great

NS: currently is an IE-only plug-in

NS: have one for PDF and one for Word; FF and WebKit support on the far horizon

Topic 3: Expert Handlers Requirements Document

Topic 4: ISimpleDOMNode & AT-SPI Recap/Discussion

For Reference:

Wrap Up

Topics for 17 November 2008 Handlers Call

JS: regrets for next week