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Re: WCAG 2 and browser ZOOM and font units


From: Wolf, Jan
Date: Aug 13, 2008 8:10AM

Thanks everybody who got back to me with their opinions. And thanks
Alastair, your opinion answers my question in relationship to WCAG 2.
Not sure how I missed the "up to 200% text size" in the WCAG 2 but that
is good to know. Then of course the issue with that criterion is how do
we test? Text resize or Zoom? And you answered that question in that
currently both options are available and probably will be for the near

My dilemma for much of web design/development is finding that balance
between reality and compliance (standards and accessibility). The
reality of the situation is that we have business managers who want
complex layouts that require skilled designers and resources to test in
order to get truly accessible, as you put it, "bullet-proof layouts that
flex within max/min limits". Yet my agency requires and hires
programmers to design using .NET without any skill level requirement for
CSS or standard compliant coding or for that matter accessibility. Thus,
the abilities are varied and limited.

The reality of the situation is that management won't "settle" for a
truly accessible design that is within the capabilities of the developer
and tool combination. Instead, they feel it's an acceptable business
decision to use fixed width layouts and fixed font sizes to get a look
that can't be achieved otherwise, given the tools, skill levels and
project timeframes.

Slowly but surely accessibility and standards compliant coding is
getting management's attention but it will probably be a while before
their mindset changes enough where they look to hire standards compliant
accessibility-aware developers. It will probably be a while before they
actually provide and require formalized training to get and keep the
developers up to speed as technology and standards change. And it might
be never when they actually demand that auto-generated code be standards
compliant and accessible by default, without all kinds of gyrations,
knowledge and skill.

Thanks for the help and I will convey the font-size issues as they
pertain to WCAG 2 knowing that your second method of fixed widths with
height and resizeable text will likely be their most attainable solution
at this time.

-----Original Message-----
From: Wolf, Jan
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 12:27 PM
Subject: [WebAIM] WCAG 2 and browser ZOOM and font units

With WCAG 2 and Section 508 being updated to provide for technical
advances, how do people view the ability to ZOOM in FireFox 3 and IE7 as
it applies to font size units? Does this negate the need to use
resizeable fonts? I would prefer to use resizeable fonts BUT it does
require more thought and talent to produce a layout that retains its
usability/readability when fonts are resized in a browser. With the
newest browsers allowing a user to ZOOM in, I have a hard time making
the case to our programmers that they should continue to use resizeable
fonts. I don't even know if I can truly say that WCAG 2 will require it.

Opinions please?