WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: Introduction


From: Chaals McCathie Nevile
Date: Nov 11, 2015 5:00AM

On Mon, 09 Nov 2015 20:31:41 +0100, Ella Yu < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

> Hi all, I'm Ella and I'm a blind person.

Hi Ella, and welcome. It occurs to me I never introduced myself when I
joined this list.

I'm chaals, and I work at Yandex (you can look that up at
http://yandex.com - it's a search engine among other things, and it is
very big in Russia). I'm one of the co-chairs of the W3C's Web Platform
group, which is responsible for the next version of HTML, and I'm one of
the coordinators of the W3C's HTML accessibility Task Force - which might
just fold itself into the Web Platform group and stop being a separate

I've previously worked as head of standards at the Opera browser, and at
W3C on the staff of their Web Accessibility Initiative, and in the
Semantic Web activity, and in the distant past of the 1990s at RMIT
University doing Web and accessibility stuff.

So some of the mistakes we made last century are my fault, and I hope some
of the good things we've done are partly my fault too.

Right now I am working on a few different things:

How to make accessible SVG and how to improve SVG to make that easier. I'm
playing with a set of examples that you can find at

- how to make interacting with web apps more accessible (reconsidering the
approach we use), and a whole pile of things that are easier by
comparison.There is a draft proposal at
chaals.github.io/accesskey/index.src.html which has various issues still:
https://github.com/chaals/accesskey/issues This is under discussion as a
potential change to HTML in the W3C's Web Incubator Community Group:
<http://discourse.wicg.io/t/user-interaction-with-web-apps/1177>; although
I have been talking about the ideas in various places for more than a

- How to make ARIA integrate better in mainstream browsers. Right now ARIA
is only directed at accesssibility APIs. This means that for the most part
only people who use screenreaders are getting any tangible benefit from
it. In practice, screen magnification and alternative input such as voice
or eye-tracker systems could also connect to the accessibility APIs, but
people who use built-in browser features like zoom, keyboard navigation
and the like are shut out by design. I think this needs to change.

- schema.org description of "documents". And other things. Schema has some
vocabulary designed to describe the accessibility of a resource, with the
idea being that you can look for things that are accessible to you,
regardless of who else they might or might not work for. But at the moment
it is not very good, and I want to improve that.

- schema.org description of the accessibility of places. There are
literally millions of places described using schema.org metadata. Adding
some information about the physical accessibility would be very helpful.
We need to develop a vocabulary for this that starts small enough to
experiment. I have looked at similar, more focused efforts, and there is a
lot of valuable thinking but it is unclear if anyone has really tried to
do this at the scale of "all the web" yet, and things for schema need to
work on that scale to be acceptable.

There are various other things I work on in accessibility - and there are
more things than accessibility in my day job.

Maybe this list is why I don't use facebook, only occasionally use
twitter, and generally stay away from "social media". I'd like to get
things made, and I have to limit the amount of time I spend chattering to
people in order to achieve that. Although not talking to people is a
recipe for making things that aren't what they want. I use email a lot,
and like to spend time face to face with people.

And that's far too much for an introduction, so if you made it to here
feel free to claim a beverage of choice from me if you meet me somewhere,
as reward.


Charles McCathie Nevile - web standards - CTO Office, Yandex
<EMAIL REMOVED> - - - Find more at http://yandex.com