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April 2013 Standards Update

2013 April 30
by Amaya Webster

@longdesc Updates
by Geoff Freed

The image-description extension specification for longdesc is now available in draft form and we are seeing interesting developments as implementation begins:

  • NVDA now identifies the presence of @longdesc and gives users the option to open and read the description.  NVDA, JAWS, and ChromeVox are the three major screen readers to convey @longdesc to users.  (Note that ChromeVox is hinting at MathML support in the near future.)
  • Voting continues at Mozilla on adding a capability in Firefox to make @longdesc available to all users (e.g., through a visual indicator), not just those who rely on AT.  See Mozilla’s Bugzilla record on this topic for information.  Click here for current voting results.
  • DAISY Pipeline 2.0: Discussion is underway to possible convert <prodnote> used within image group to @longdesc.  Currently, <aside> is used for visual, non-image elements. Metadata Accessibility
A proposal was submitted to to permit search engines to index information based on a resource’s accessibility features, such as captions, descriptions, image descriptions, MathML, etc.  Click here for more information.

Obama appoints George Kerscher to Key Post
The White House issued a press release on April 9th announcing President Obama’s intention to appoint George Kerscher to the National Museum and Library Services Board. All our congratulations to George on this tremendous news!

Standards Working Group Update
Co-chairs George Kerscher and Mark Hakkinen will hold the next regular meeting of the Standards Working Group in May on a date to be determined. The group is expected to continue the conversations begun at the last meeting regarding crosswalk mapping from APIP to the DIAGRAM Content Model and the eTernity initiative for educational textbook standards, among many other things. Please let George and Mark know if you have ideas to add to the agenda.

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