EPUB 3 Working Group FXL A11y Task Force Telco — Minutes

Date: 2021-07-06

See also the Agenda and the IRC Log


Present: Gregorio Pellegrino, Matthew Chan, Matt Garrish, Hadrien Gardeur, Wendy Reid, Ken Jones

Regrets: Charles LaPierre


Chair: Wendy Reid

Scribe(s): Matthew Chan, Wendy Reid


Wendy Reid: so we’ll do our usual round of updates
… spent some time playing around with region-based alt-text in comics
… using map element
… i was able to segment page into 3 sections and add alt-text, but not a single screen reader would work with it
… they just tell user that an image map exists, but nothing else
… next step is finding HTML elements that have been implemented by screen readers

Gregorio Pellegrino: https://a11ysupport.io/

Gregorio Pellegrino: this is a link where you can check which AT is support by which browsers, etc.
… also, I’ve received sample files from ITA publisher. But they asked me to create sample files from their full publication
… are there tools for doing this? Or is it done manually?

Wendy Reid: i’ve done this in the past manually

Gregorio Pellegrino: it seems like some retail platforms have tools for making samples from full books, but they might be internal only

Wendy Reid: Kobo’s tool for doing this is not elegant, nor made to be public facing

Ken Jones: when doing tests of what might be possible, even if it is not supported currently, we might still recommend it in the hopes that those recommendations will spur wider spread adoption

Wendy Reid: problem is that it doesn’t even work in browsers currently

Matthew Chan: Ken_Jones sharing screen

Ken Jones: this is a document I originally made in InDesign, and then added sample code to allow me to switch between InDesign CSS and reflow CSS
… e.g. when the viewport exceeds a certain width
… it can be opened in a RS like Colibrio, and it works there

Gregorio Pellegrino: how does it swap from one to the other?
… how did you manage to maintain reading order?

Ken Jones: it’s based on how InDesign dictates reading order based on the InDesign document

Hadrien Gardeur: this is might actually be solving a different use-case than we are trying to address
… e.g. responsive layout rather than a11y-FXL layout
… what you’ve shown would work under two circumstances: 1) FXL and 2) reflowable, but scrolled rather than paginated, where the RS is not likely to inject its own CSS to make reflow work
… but this doesn’t make it easier for the end user to switch between something that is accessible, and something that is not

Ken Jones: I did it as a media-query just as a proof of concept, but in the rest of our document the choice would be made by the reader or RS at will (and not by rotating the device, for example)

Matt Garrish: this is still relevant to the WCAG requirement that user be able to zoom without loss of functionality
… its similar to the approach that Adobe is taking for PDFs
… there’s going to be implementation issues (e.g. with tables that break across pages), but I think its viable for addressing this one specific a11y issue

Hadrien Gardeur: the approach that Adobe has taken is similar to browser reader modes, e.g., taking the content, stripping the style, and then using a preset stylesheet
… e.g. in iOS 15 there is the ability to detect and extract text from a FXL, and output could be used to generate reflow book
… but the difference from authored content is that you lose all the styling

Wendy Reid: it seems like OCF, but suped up
… thanks Ken_Jones that was a cool demo

Ken Jones: See Link to sample file I showed and bit more info added to the Visual to Textual Explainer doc.

Rachel Osolen: charles and I continued drafting the alt-text section

Gregorio Pellegrino: the idea of stripping out styling and displaying in accessible way was my first idea as well, but then I realized that we wanted to recommend something that authors can do to make more accessible content, rather than something that RS does

Hadrien Gardeur: with reflowable content, an affordance that RS has is user styles (change font, size, etc.)
… with FXL content, affordance that RS has is different - e.g. spread or no spread, paginated or not, pinch to zoom
… Have we looked at RS affordances?

Wendy Reid: We haven’t, but we should look at that as a section in the best practices

Hadrien Gardeur: If we look at changing the content, we’d likely need to change reading system affordances

Ken Jones: We’ve got some best practice guidelines
… this extra thing is additional to that, not part of the document yet
… could you give an example of a reading system affordance?
… what more could we do?

Hadrien Gardeur: One thing that was mentioned, was looking at fallbacks
… a reflowable fallback for every FXL resource
… when it comes to authoring that’s an example
… for RS affordances, we could have more features available, is pinch-to-zoom sufficient or should there be other methods available always
… pointing out how tools “break” assistive tech is an example too

Matt Garrish: I want to agree, RSs tend to favour authoring over everything
… there are other issues like contrast where the user could have greater control and don’t
… it would be a benefit for users to allow for greater control

Wendy Reid: Agreed

Matt Garrish: It’s not going to pass WCAG if the user agent doesn’t allow for the affordances

Wendy Reid: I guess we’re adding another section to the doc

Ken Jones: My usual approach to try to play along with the tools than change them
… we could say “here’s a way to make EPUBs without InDesign”
… but people are fixed in their ways

Wendy Reid: right, we not going to change the tools that publishers use day to day
… but discussing topics like how InDesign breaks reading order will enable publishers to work around that as much as possible
… I’ll add section to the doc about RS affordances
… please volunteer if you feel you can fill out this section

Rachel Osolen: I had a colleague ask how we’re going to deal with RSes reading FXL books like each word is a paragraph
… it was suggested that we might have a specific warning in the metadata to alert users to this a11y issue

Hadrien Gardeur: i’m interested in tackling the issue of fallbacks
… essentially providing the functionality of multiple-renditions, but without multiple OPFs

Matt Garrish: how do these techniques layer into WCAG? Like “these techniques will get you to A, and then going to AA we have these additional issues”. Or are we aiming to get people directly to AA. Will there be some sort of mapping from techniques to WCAG?
… I feel like publishers ultimately want to know this

Ken Jones: I think getting to A is doable with what we’re currently drafting, but getting to AA seems unlikely without some of these more experimental techniques, or fallbacks

Gregorio Pellegrino: for EAA, Level A is not enough. You need Level A plus the able to change font size, colour, etc. So maybe we can have both how to reach Level A, and EAA minimum standard

Matt Garrish: maybe as simple as, for each technique, say what level each technique is relevant to. Without saying doing “this” will get you to “Level A”, etc.

Wendy Reid: I can look into this
… okay, thank you everyone. See you all in 2 weeks!