EPUB 3 Working Group A11y Telco — Minutes

Date: 2020-11-12

See also the Agenda and the IRC Log


Present: Avneesh Singh, Gregorio Pellegrino, Matthew Chan, Matt Garrish, Daihei Shiohama (塩濱大平), Jun’Ichi Yoshii, George Kerscher, Juliette McShane, Ben Schroeter, Charles LaPierre, Marisa DeMeglio, Cristina Mussinelli



Chair: Avneesh Singh

Scribe(s): Matthew Chan


Avneesh Singh: welcome to the first meeting of the a11y taskforce
… focus of our call is to figure out work items
… exciting to finally be moving to the next version of the spec
… the spec should go to CR in nov 2021
… FPWD should be in Feb 2021
… today let’s just discuss what we want to cover in this roughly 1 year, which are must items, and which are nice-to-have
… i thought we might have these calls every 2 weeks

Gregorio Pellegrino: +1

Avneesh Singh: this golden time slot is so popular, it might be hard to increase the frequency of calls to every week
… we can revisit this later, if necessary
… also, should we have a separate issue tracker for a11y? We will keep the same issue tracker as the epub spec wg for now

Avneesh Singh: https://github.com/w3c/epub-specs/issues/

George Kerscher: will there be a specific label for the a11y issues?

Avneesh Singh: yes
… Q about japanese environment? Do we need a separate group for Japanese environment?

Daihei Shiohama (塩濱大平): You can coordinate with me, and then we can have a separate call

1. Overview of Work Items

Avneesh Singh: highest level priority, align spec with EU Accessibility Directive

Avneesh Singh: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/dir/2019/882/oj?eliuri=eli:dir:2019:882:oj

Avneesh Singh: we already align with them, but there may be a need for some clarifying language
… a link is provided, please have specific notice of section 3 and 4 in the document linked

Gregorio Pellegrino: fine for me

Avneesh Singh: obviously this is one of the work items
… second item, maintaining the reading order in the nav document?
… in epub 3.3 spec, there is no requirement that content should be aligned with the nav
… perhaps we should make this a requirement of the a11y spec
… another big piece is alignment with WCAG 2.1 and perhaps 2.2
… discussion with Matt G, about different ways to do this

Gregorio Pellegrino: should we check what the WCAG requirements imply for epub?

Avneesh Singh: yes, WCAG can be quite abstract, but this will be covered techniques document

Charles LaPierre: about the EU directive… will they have any requirements about which version of WCAG will be required?

Avneesh Singh: EU directive is only about functional requirements, they don’t specify a specific version of WCAG
… my understanding is that it will be preferable to align with 2.1, because if W3 makes any recommendations to EU, they will be referring to 2.1

Matt Garrish: even if we formally accept one version, there will be a benefit to allowing implementers some flexibility

2. URLs that point to IDPF website should be redirect to W3 website

Gregorio Pellegrino: +1

Charles LaPierre: +1

3. relaxed extended desc and long desc for images

Avneesh Singh: 2016 version of spec relaxed extended desc and long desc for images
… next item, 2016 version of spec relaxed extended desc and long desc for images
… we compromised: alt-text would be sufficient even for complex images
… we can change this now, to better align with WCAG

Charles LaPierre: Agreed. In global certified accessible, we see that a lot more publishers are putting extended desc and long desc into their books
… its become a requirement for our certification

George Kerscher: This seems to be very prevalent among higher ed, where books might have 100+ such complex images
… should should try to balance this so that we don’t go overboard with making such publishers do lots of work

George Kerscher: +1 to what Matt said

4. epub:type for semantics vs aria-roles

Avneesh Singh: should we deprecate use of epub:type and move completely to aria-roles

Charles LaPierre: with global certified accessible, we originally required both, but after consultation, we realized that epub:type wasn’t really used for a11y, more for production workflow
… so i’m in favor of not requiring epub:type, but publishers can still have it if they want

5. multiple certifiercredentials, accessibility API, accessibility controls

Avneesh Singh: there are also outdated links to IDPF forum, which is now gone

Charles LaPierre: re. a11y metadata, some of these metadata elements are confusing publishers
… i’m in favor of not requiring these

Gregorio Pellegrino: right now spec requires Schema inside the epub, but maybe we can just refer to ONIX instead
… re. mapping between aria and epub:type, more work needs to be done?

Avneesh Singh: we can keep the mapping as part of the role of the community group

6. overlap with media-overlay spec

Avneesh Singh: last item, revisit overlap with media-overlay spec. Do we want to add some requirements in this section?
… right now we don’t have this as a very high priority work item
… or perhaps we can take up this specific item later?

George Kerscher: there are implementations of MO books that are fixed-layout only. This is pretty common.
… i wonder if there are ways to indicate that even if the audio doesn’t play, the epub should still be readable for people with disabilities

Matt Garrish: a lot of work in the MO section will hinge on implementation, on the actual content that is being produced

Avneesh Singh: I think we can make add a comment in the spec to address george’s concern

Marisa DeMeglio: right now epub:type MAY be attached to MO elements, this is what drives the skipability-feature
… if we’re changing epub:type to role then we’ll have to revisit this

Avneesh Singh: okay, are we missing any other work items?
… no? Then it looks like everyone is happy with the plan.

Avneesh Singh: https://w3c.github.io/epub-specs/epub33/a11y/index.html

Avneesh Singh: https://w3c.github.io/epub-specs/epub33/a11y-tech/index.html

George Kerscher: about the division of labor between the cg and the wg… e.g. getting support of dpub aria roles
… this feels more like a cg job

Avneesh Singh: the wg’s timeline is very short, we should focus on improving the spec
… other things can be delegated

Charles LaPierre: re. deprecating epub:type, 1. do we need to improve roles to allow skipability, and 2. do we need to consult with publishers who are right now using epub:type for skipability?

Avneesh Singh: roles already allow skipabilty/escapability

Matt Garrish: we want to be careful where we touch upon the MO spec, we might even just want to leave references to epub:type for this section

George Kerscher: read aloud could benefit from these clarifications to enriched skipability/escapability, which is another point towards moving towards aria roles

Marisa DeMeglio: in the future updates to MO, we are very much relying upon aria roles

George Kerscher: we should also thinking about a11y aspects of video, time permitting

Avneesh Singh: I think these things are mainly covered by WCAG
… because our time is short, we should limit our scope to updating what is in the spec

Matt Garrish: agreed that this is more an issue for the cg, or best practices document

Avneesh Singh: re. alignment to EU accessibility directive. We should go through the directive requirements and see that our spec meets all those requirements
… will Cristina take over this responsibility?

Cristina Mussinelli: okay, yes

Avneesh Singh: I will get in touch with you early next week about this

George Kerscher: So in this work item, we are identifying incongruencies between our spec and EU directive?

Avneesh Singh: yes, exactly

George Kerscher: Are we going to publish guidance on how our spec differs from the EU directive in the future?

Avneesh Singh: This is probably not within our scope

Cristina Mussinelli: Are there any US-based requirements that we should also check, while we checking the EU directive?
… as the spec would apply to everyone, this would be useful to know

Avneesh Singh: sure
… next, alignment between nav and content, I’ll open an issue about this and we can discuss there
… and re. WCAG versions, we can continue to discuss this in future meetings

George Kerscher: So to clarify, our meetings will be every other week, at this time?

Avneesh Singh: yes, and maybe we’ll revisit this meeting schedule after a couple of months

Avneesh Singh: okay, thanks for coming everyone!