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Re: Hiding Legends


From: Moore, Michael
Date: Oct 17, 2008 9:28AM

Dean asked the following question regarding high contrast mode:

Does anyone have any actual statistics on how many people use this mode?

Mike's Reply,

Although I do not have any statistics, I have some anecdotal
information. We have approximately 150 people in our agency who use
assistive technologies for the visually impaired. On their computers
they either use a screen reading program, JAWS, or a screen
magnification program, ZoomText, or both. The overwhelming majority of
people who are "blind" are not totally blind and more people use screen
magnifiers or combinations of magnifiers and screen readers than use
screen readers alone.

Of those who use screen magnification software, most also use the
features of the program that allow the adjustment of color and contrast.
This is a personal observation. There are several different built in
color modes in ZoomText and a custom feature that allows almost an
infinite variety of choices.

I have found that many applications fail to function properly using
Windows built in high contrast mode, including some Microsoft
applications. I believe that most people who require the ability to
control colors and contrast on their system will need to
purchase/acquire assistive technology to accomplish that function
effectively. It would be like relying on Narrator for screen reading,
or the magnifier in Windows. These features are just not robust enough
to be viewed as effective assistive technologies.

When I tested Dean's page I observed the following.

1. Color and contrast meets WCAG AAA requirements at 8.6:1 for the
luminosity ratio.
2. Testing with JAWS 9.0, the legends were reported correctly.
3. Pixilation of the legends when using ZoomText at 5X was acceptable.
4. The default color schemes on ZoomText all worked as expected.
5. When images were turned off, the legends disappeared and the reason
for two name and address fields was lost. I am not sure that I would
call that graceful degradation, but as long as Dean provides the
information to his client so that they can make an informed decision he
has done his job.

Final comment, cursive and italic scripts are difficult for many low
vision people to read. Dean, you may want to convey that information to
your client as well.

The only sites that we have full control over are the ones that we build
for ourselves. Since most of us make our living building and/or
testing/consulting for others the best that we can expect to do is point
out the weaknesses, explain the implications, and allow the deciders to
do their jobs.