508 Compliance - CHM

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508 Compliance - CHM

Unread postby Tonea Morrow » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:11 pm

I'm in the process of getting screen reader software so I can test my pages for 508 compliance, whether CHM, PDF, or HTML. But, until then I have some people who have volunteered to check things for me. I can't send them actual FAA files. But, I can send dummy files that test how things work so I know what to look at.
GoofyCo.png

That is a screen shot of my dummy file GoofyCo within H&M. The goal was to find out if a screen reader would see the same output in the chm format as the sighted user sees, which is this:
GoofyCo-Sighted.png

Compare what the sighted user sees (above) with the response I got from my volunteer:
The menu tree is all that I can see in this file. F6 toggles between the menu and the main body of the file where the information should be. That is totally blank and inert under the screen reader.

The menu items in the left-hand contents tree are readable and there item number and heading level is reported.

None of the rest of your material is visible.


First, is this a problem other people have had?

Second, is this failure a result of something I did or didn't do in the publishing of the CHM format?

Third, any fix ideas?

Thanks,

Tonea
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Re: 508 Compliance - CHM

Unread postby Tonea Morrow » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:21 pm

Sorry, I forgot to show you the code for the page--just in case it makes a difference.

GoofyCo-Code.png


Thanks for any help!

Tonea
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Re: 508 Compliance - CHM

Unread postby Alexander Halser » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:52 am

Hi Tonea,

Second, is this failure a result of something I did or didn't do in the publishing of the CHM format?

I am not sure if the Windows HTML Help viewer is section 508 compliant. It's a Microsoft product and part of the operating system. If the screen reader does not even see the topic pane with the HTML content, it is probably a shortcoming of the HTML Help viewer. If the screen reader can see the HTML content, but has problems with deciphering it, it could be a skin issue. In this case, you can use a simplier skin - or no skin at all - to publish the CHM file. Without a skin, H&M creates literally naked static HTML pages, that it fills with the topic content. But I do not think that this is the case here, your skin should be fine. After all, the CHM skins are not all to complicated, because of other restrictions in the HTML Help viewer.

If you create a PDF file, make sure to enable the PDF/A variant in the PDF publishing options. PDF/A adds extra meta information to the PDF for archiving (the A in PDF/A) and accessibility.
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Re: 508 Compliance - CHM

Unread postby Tonea Morrow » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:29 pm

Thank you for the information. I did as you suggested and used no skin at all. I was able to email the new chm to both volunteers. I included a complete text description of what they should see in the main content window:

Header bar says Introduction (on left) then large space to the right where there are these words: Top Next. Each word is a hyperlink to control the change of Main Content to a different page.
Below the header, it should say
Welcome to our test file.
We have useless information on (link, destination Accessing Menu Item 1, no tooltip)accessing system A(end link), as well as more information on (link)accessing system B(end link, destination accessing menu item 2, no tooltip).
Graphic Logo.png, tooltip Goofy Company! This is our Logo!
Caption: The image above is the Goofy Company logo.
The (Graphic OK button.png, tooltip OK) button is used in a lot of software packages.


Response from volunteer 1:
...the content (including links) worked exactly as you described. Headings are still missing though.


I've not yet heard back from volunteer 2, but the point is that it seems to be a skin issue. Can you recommend a skin or advise on how to solve with the skin I've got? I will admit the volunteer who's response I quoted was not abel to respond on the first version because google email wouldn't pass the file to him. By the time I did the second file, I'd figured out how to fool google. If you really think it isn't the skin, I can send a file (with a skin applied) to this volunteer and see if he gets the same results as the first volunteer.

Thanks,

Tonea
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Re: 508 Compliance - CHM

Unread postby Tim Green » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:09 am

Hi Tonea,

If you're not using a skin at all there shouldn't be any logo appearing anywhere. My guess is that your project has an old edited template in it still. In the project, go to Configuration > HTML Page Templates > Default and use the Reset button to reset the template to the basic default. You can then use the Simple configuration tab to adjust a couple of things like the navigation links.
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Re: 508 Compliance - CHM

Unread postby Tonea Morrow » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:04 pm

Please look at the first letter on this topic or simply the quotes within the message to which you replied. In the H&M screen shot, it shows you that I used a dummy logo within the page's content. That was just a means of inserting a test graphic. So, yes, there should be a logo in the output, but not as part of the CHM header, no. Since he can't see the header, whether there is a logo there or not is a moot point. A side issue: What is the problem with the skin that makes it where the content screen gets blanked?

Real Issue: How can I apply a skin and not lose the screen reader's visibility of content within the main window? And, is the loss of header visibility (to screen reader's) a function of CHM, H&M, or of the skin?

I think I can code an If>Then statement to add a header for screen readers to see when they view the CHM: |If CHM>Header: Introduction<End| . And, I can set the colors on the text so it is the same color as the background. Sighted reader's won't see it, but screen readers will. That's just a work around for a problem that, for all I know, is solvable.

I want to be able to put a skin back on the CHM so the look and feel of it for sighted readers is consistent with the other formats. I just can't do that if it causes the blind reader's to be denied access to the same content.

Thanks,

Tonea
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Re: 508 Compliance - CHM

Unread postby Tim Green » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:15 am

Hi Tonea,

Tonea Morrow wrote:So, yes, there should be a logo in the output, but not as part of the CHM header, no. Since he can't see the header, whether there is a logo there or not is a moot point.

Well, that's strictly not even a logo then; it's just another graphic in your content, so that shouldn't be a problem as long as you have set the alt text for it.

A side issue: What is the problem with the skin that makes it where the content screen gets blanked?

The most likely cause there is a non-scrolling header, where the topic header stays in the same place and the topic content scrolls in a box below it. If the screen reader is old/poorly programmed/dumb then it is quite possible that it wouldn't be able to handle that.

Real Issue: How can I apply a skin and not lose the screen reader's visibility of content within the main window? And, is the loss of header visibility (to screen reader's) a function of CHM, H&M, or of the skin?

I'm not quite sure whether you've already done this, but the best way to test this is to generate a CHM without a skin and see if the screen readers can handle it:

  1. Go to Configuration > HTML Page Templates > Default and click on the RESET button to make sure there is no custom code.
  2. When publishing, click on the Select Skin bar, look for the little menu above or below the previews and select Remove Skin.
If the screen readers can then handle it you know that the problem is that they are too limited to handle non-scrolling regions. The only option there is to dispense with skins entirely then, as all of them use non-scrolling headers.

Tonea[/quote]
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Re: 508 Compliance - CHM

Unread postby Tonea Morrow » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:48 pm

A side issue: What is the problem with the skin that makes it where the content screen gets blanked?

The most likely cause there is a non-scrolling header, where the topic header stays in the same place and the topic content scrolls in a box below it. If the screen reader is old/poorly programmed/dumb then it is quite possible that it wouldn't be able to handle that.


I visually went and looked at the CHM file that has the skin applied. There is no floating header. I scroll down and the header goes off the top of the frame.

I also went into the CHM file that has no skin applied. I made the screen small enough to be able to use the scroll bar and test for a floating header. There is no floating header.

Prior to responding, I went to the forum for the screen reader and asked everyone if the list of problems were a common issue with CHM. I didn't think I should bother H&M if the problem was with CHM format. Someone responded:
Hi Tonea
I found a chm file on my machine and opened it. On entry, I was placed in the Contents list and used arrow keys to traverse it. When I found a topic I wanted help on I pressed f6. This moved me to the help topic details. I used arrow keys to move around the help topic window. From here I switched into screen review mode and located the following buttons:
Hide Print Options Search Contents Favorites

I could access these buttons via review cursor ... I also found that alt+o opens a context menu containing the following:
Hide Tabs, Back, Forward, Home, Stop, Refresh, Internet Options..., Print...

Some of these are probably equivalent to the header items you could not access. Alt+s also opened up the search function which was also accessible.


So, the problems don't seem to be a CHM format problem. I do still need to be able to apply a skin to my files without it breaking access for the screen readers. Do you know of a skin that will work?

Thanks,

Tonea
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Re: 508 Compliance - CHM

Unread postby Tim Green » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:39 am

Hi Tonea,

I visually went and looked at the CHM file that has the skin applied. There is no floating header. I scroll down and the header goes off the top of the frame.

That's odd, because we don't have any skins that work with CHM without non-scrolling headers. They don't exist. Either you're not really using a skin, or the one you are using is damaged. I'd be grateful if you could mail me the .hmskin file you are using at support AT ec-software.com (replace the AT with @) so that I can have a look at it.

Please also do what I suggested and produce a version without a skin at all and have your testers try that:

  1. In Configuration > HTML Page Templates > Default click on the "Reset" button to reset the template.
  2. If your project contains any baggage files delete them all (make a backup first, of course)
  3. When you publish, click on the Select Skin bar and choose the "Remove Skin" option from the menu so that no skin is selected.
  4. If the "Delete temporary files" option is not selected, select it. Then publish the CHM twice -- once to clear the temporary files and then again to produce a clean version.
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Re: 508 Compliance - CHM

Unread postby Tonea Morrow » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:29 pm

Okay, for the sake of arguement, I did all 4 steps. I reset the template. There were no files in the baggage folder. I removed the skin prior to publishing. Set publication to new folder and also selected Delete Temporary Files. Then I published twice.

CHMPic1.png


The above shows the header "Introduction. I resize the window and scroll down. The next picture shows the header did not float.

CHMPic2.png


As you can see, the header is not floating. I realize you've been sick for a week. But, please re-read the whole thread. For review:
  • Initially, the whole right frame was not visible to screen readers.
  • It was suggested I not use a skin.
  • I stopped using a skin on 1-11-18, per the suggestion. I sent a skinless copy to my testers, who could then see everything in the right frame but the header.
  • The missing header can be coded around if I use an If>Then statement.
  • I need a skin that will not make the whole right frame invisible again.

Thank you,

Tonea
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Re: 508 Compliance - CHM

Unread postby Tonea Morrow » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:47 pm

By the way, here is some information on the skin I was using when all this started.

Webhelp, iFrames Responsive, Blue.hmskin is the name.
Here is a picture of GoofyCo test pages in the H&M (unmodified) version.
CHMPic3.png


Now note the header scrolls off the top of the window when the scroll bar is moved down. Thus, this header is not floating, even in the skin.
CHMPic4.png



Not having a floating header is fine. That's not a problem. What I want is to apply a skin that lets me change the color scheme and header buttons, but that does not make the right frame invisible to screen readers. :typing:

I'm having my own bad day. Sorry if I'm grumpy.

Thank you,

Tonea
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Re: 508 Compliance - CHM

Unread postby Tim Green » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:39 am

Hi Tonea,

I'm asking Alexander to have another look at this as well. The CHM viewer is a very ancient Microsoft component that they have not updated or even bug-fixed since it was originally released with Windows 98. It is basically an unchanged Windows 98 program with all its original bugs (it does not even support Unicode) that later versions of Windows have probably been patched to support at all. It is what it is, and the chances of it ever being changed, improved or updated are probably sub-zero.

I stopped using a skin on 1-11-18, per the suggestion. I sent a skinless copy to my testers, who could then see everything in the right frame but the header.


That's strange, because the header is just a table, generated by this content in the standard page template:

Code: Select all
<table style="width:100%; border:none; border-spacing:0px; padding:5px; background:#C0C0C0">
  <tr style="vertical-align:middle">
    <td style="text-align:left">
      <%TOPIC_HEADER%>
    </td>
    <td style="text-align:right">
     <a href="<%HREF_DEFAULT_PAGE%>">Top</a>&nbsp;
     <IF_PREVIOUS_PAGE><a href="<%HREF_PREVIOUS_PAGE%>">Previous</a>&nbsp;</IF_PREVIOUS_PAGE>
     <IF_NEXT_PAGE><a href="<%HREF_NEXT_PAGE%>">Next</a></IF_NEXT_PAGE>
    </td>
  </tr>
</table>

You can try replacing this with something even simpler. I'll experiment with this and post it in this thread shortly. As far as "another skin that will work with screen readers" goes, that will probably not be possible with any of the existing HM skins if something as simple as a table in the header is tripping them up. It will be necessary to make something simple, specially designed for the readers.

Now note the header scrolls off the top of the window when the scroll bar is moved down. Thus, this header is not floating, even in the skin.

Then something is broken in the copy of that skin that you are using. It definitely does have a non-scrolling header.

I'm having my own bad day. Sorry if I'm grumpy.

No problem -- frustrated rage is the normal state to be in when dealing with anything to do with Microsoft's CHM system. That's why I kept insisting that you reduce everything to a basic standard template because that will reveal whether it has something to do with the viewer itself or with the content in it. Simplification makes it easier to identify problems.
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Re: 508 Compliance - CHM

Unread postby Tim Green » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:36 am

Hi Tonea,

Please try replacing the current topic page template code with the experimental version below. This is only experimental, to see whether the screen reader is able to see the header if it isn't packed in a table. The navigation links will work, but they will overlap the topic header title if it is longer or if the user makes the viewer window too narrow.

Code: Select all
<%DOCTYPE%>
<html>
<head>
   <title><%TOPIC_TITLE%></title>
   <meta name="generator" content="Help &amp; Manual" />
   <meta name="keywords" content="<%TOPIC_KEYWORDS%>" />
   <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=<%DOCCHARSET%>" />
   <IF_CHM><meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=9" /></IF_CHM>
   <IF_HTML><meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge" /></IF_HTML>
   <meta name="description" content="<%TOPIC_DESCRIPTION%>" />
   <meta name="picture" content="<%TOPIC_PICTURE%>" />
   <link type="text/css" href="<%STYLESHEET%>" rel="stylesheet" />
   <style type="text/css">
     body { margin: 0px; background: #FFFFFF; padding: 10px;}
     p.topicnav {position: absolute; top: 20px; right: 10px; }
     a.topicnavlink:link {color: black; text-decoration: none;}
     a.topicnavlink:visited {color: black;}
     a.topicnavlink:hover {text-decoration: underline;}
   </style>
</head>
<body>

<IF_TOPIC_HEADER>
      <%TOPIC_HEADER%>
     <p class="topicnav"><a class="topicnavlink" href="<%HREF_DEFAULT_PAGE%>">Top</a>&nbsp;
     <IF_PREVIOUS_PAGE><a class="topicnavlink" href="<%HREF_PREVIOUS_PAGE%>">Previous</a>&nbsp;</IF_PREVIOUS_PAGE>
     <IF_NEXT_PAGE><a class="topicnavlink" href="<%HREF_NEXT_PAGE%>">Next</a></IF_NEXT_PAGE></p>
</IF_TOPIC_HEADER>

<!-- Placeholder for topic body. -->
<table style="width:100%;border:none;border-spacing:0px"><tr style="vertical-align:top"><td style="text-align:left;padding:5px">
<%TOPIC_TEXT%>
</td></tr></table>

</body>
</html>
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Re: 508 Compliance - CHM

Unread postby Tonea Morrow » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:11 pm

Then something is broken in the copy of that skin that you are using. It definitely does have a non-scrolling header.

No, it doesn't. If you want to talk about code, please review the code I sent in the second message of this thread:

GoofyCo-Code.png


There is no table. :naughty: It says body, header, paragraph, end header. No, I didn't change the code. That is the way H&M coded it from the beginning. If you had looked instead of thinking you knew what my file said, you would have seen this.

We are running 7.3.3, but yes I see there is an update. I'll ask IT to update to 7.3.4.

I will say it again. I'm not using a skin because it causes the right pane to dissappear. :frustration: I just wanted to know if you could recommend one to try that might not cause that right pane to dissappear.

I will contact my testers again and see what I can find out that direction. It can't hurt to do a second test to confirm the first one. I may have no choice but to test various skins.

Tonea
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Re: 508 Compliance - CHM

Unread postby Tonea Morrow » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:45 pm

The results are in. :surprise: Everyone can breath a sigh of relief. All is good.

My best tester was available and I changed the test. Instead of asking if he could see the header, I told him that I'd hidden the name of a creature in the file. If he could see the name and tell me what it is, we were good. He responded correctly: Banana Spider. So, he could see the header.

I then asked him if he could set his screen reader to transcript mode and email me the transcript. This is a feature intended for sighted persons to use. I don't beleive it was an easy thing for him to do, but he did it. I was able to go over the transcript, and the CHM format works just fine without a skin. No problems seeing or identifying the headers, graphics, links, buttons, or anything else.

I then sent him the file with the skin applied. He sent me another transcript. The only things missing are the page navigation buttons (such as top and next) that would appear to the right of the page header. I'm not going to fret about that.

What is key is that my most reliable tester was able to demonstrate that the CHM format is compliant with the United States Access Board's 508 Refresh for 2018 when no skin is applied. And, if someone insists on using a skin, it is reasonably accomodating for an outdated format. The page navigation buttons are not required, just more convenient than the navigation tree.

Those of you from England, be proud. My best tester is one of you. :applaud:

Tonea
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