[Athen] color contrast vs. color difference

Mark C. Mintz mmintz at pasadena.edu
Mon Oct 19 08:21:46 PDT 2015

When I was a computer science major in college, and a programmer early career, the "hot word" in open source and forward looking development was "i18n", internationalization (as in, there are 18 letters between I and N). Now, almost every public good program (non-proprietary) is using UTF-8 fonts and hides language in a separate layer from the interface. Things are easily localized with a local translator and a little bit of work -- no programming involved. Look at any open source software you use, chances are it's available in Hungarian and Portuguese and 20 other languages, based on this early 2000's work.

A11y is the same thing (11 letters surrounded by "AY"). It's an appeal for computer programmers to pay attention to accessibility in software. This is programmer shorthand, sure, but utilization in the mass culture will increase its visibility to new and upcoming programmers.

It may not make the most sense to others, but to me it means that accessibility has reached critical mass in being acknowledged when programs are created. Don't look down on it because it's pithy and simplistic. Many new programmers cut their teeth on open source projects, and the current focus on accessibility can only be a good thing as these programmers move on to bigger and more proprietary things.

My 2 cents,

Mark Mintz
Alt Media Specialist
Pasadena City College

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of N. Dogbo
Sent: Saturday, October 17, 2015 5:30 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] color contrast vs. color difference

I think we should stay with the word "accessibility", especially for those of us who are in the business of evangelizing and advocating as we try to change mindset and culture. "
the word accessibility" means something while "a11y" means nothing.

If all we do is trying and speak about WCAG, ADA and alike without doing or saying things that will ultimately help people change their behavior and attitude towards persons with disabilities then we will have accomplish nothing.



On 10/17/15, Howard Kramer <hkramer at ahead.org> wrote:

> Please excuse the cross-posts.


> I recently ran the Juicy Studios Contrast Analyzer and found 1 color

> contrast issue for the AHG home page

> <http://accessinghigherground.org/>

> (this seems to be a case of a css color setting that does not actually

> appear on the page) but a number of color difference issues. The

> latter is not specified in WCAG 2.0 as far as I can tell. Is color

> difference an a11y issue? Or should the focus be luminosity ration (“color contrast”)?


> --

> Howard Kramer

> Conference Coordinator

> Accessing Higher Ground

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