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Comments on Draft Web Accessibility Guidelines

From: Meeds, Sherman A. <sameeds@DOC1.WA.GOV>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2003 10:01:20 -0700
Message-ID: <53E0B668E812D845BB300404547390D9014E9ECE@DOC-EM4.doc.wa.gov>
To: "'public-comments-wcag20@w3.org'" <public-comments-wcag20@w3.org>
Cc: "Mikler, Donald J. Jr." <djmikler@DOC1.WA.GOV>, "Piper, Paul (DIS)" <PaulP@DIS.WA.GOV>

Conformance Claims:  There is an advantage to having multi-level of
conformance possible, i.e. Core, Core+, and Extended.  There are two issues
involved:
*	Where to make the claim on the site:  Because there are two
audiences involved, the claim should be made in two places; in a site
accessibility statement that the viewer can see and using metadata so
automated tools can establish the level of conformance.  Whether or not the
information would be kept up to date is irrelevant since any claim made can
become outdated.  It is still the responsibility of the site manager to
maintain accurate data for conformance as in anything else.
*	How to grade the Core+ category:  The only method that appears to
have merit is the Core+N method.  The number of items tends to mean little
since the easiest will probably be done first.  However, assuming that is
true means sites could be compared in a generally way based on the amount.
Another way that might be possible is to establish sub-categories that
equate to types of accessibility.  In that manner, the Core could be
extended in jumps where a site complies completely with a subcategory that
the viewer can identify the value of.

Exclusions from claims must be allowed for certain situations, especially
maintaining material copyright by outside parties.  (Material copyright by
the company owning the site should be established to meet the conformance
claim.)  However, the only type of exclusion should come from material not
under the control of the site manager.  Material the site manager is
presenting should not be excluded.  It is only outside material that can be.
Usually, this type of material can and should be kept separate, and clearly
identified as outside material.  The example given, "All pages and
applications on this site meet the Core checkpoints of WCAG 2.0 except the
Web cam at http: // example.org / webcam /." (1.2) is a good one.
The Additional Items mentioned in the editorial note dated 22 May 2003 under
1.5 should be moved to techniques as suggested.  The items does detail
techniques for handling material.
1.6 Contrast:  The issue of contrast is complex and there is no easy answer.
However, in my experience, a web page that has proper contrast can also be
printed on a standard laser printer without special graphics dithering
turned on and still show all the material in usable form.
2.3 Screen Flicker:  The bottom line about screen flicker is that it is
individual to the person.  There is still the possibility that screen
flicker rates having passed requirements could affect individuals prone to
seizures.  However, if a page is designed to flicker, individuals must be
told before they access the page using normal menuing functions.  My feeling
is that pages should not be designed to flicker at all, and that changing
content should always be shown with clearly perceived movement, such as a
blinking cursor.  Content that changes faster than can be clearly perceived
by the eye should not be allowed, such as when subliminal stimulative
messages are presented.
3.2 Links for Term Definitions:  You cannot have a defined goal of making
material accessible and understandable if some users will not be familiar
with all of the terms and acronyms, and you can't assume all users are
familiar with terms outside of normal use.  Therefore, all terms not found
in everyday use and all acronyms should be explained in a definitions page
of some sort.  A good definition of what needs to be listed (beyond all
acronyms) would include those terms peculiar to the site.  However, links to
this page should not be necessary.  If a person knows the page is there,
they can access it when they need to.  Maintaining these links would be a
large burden for site managers.
in 4.1, Items 2 and 3 are not only superfluous, they are ambiguous.  I would
take them out.
Item 4.2 does provide a clear definition in my understanding.  What's more,
it would establish important organizational elements that might not be done
otherwise.  I would keep it.
4.3 requires the technology chosen in a web site conform to accessibility
requirements, and if not, that alternative technology be available
side-by-side with the main site material.  An example would be using a Flash
introductory screen with a link to non-flash presentation.  This means the
Flash presentation is important for the web site content as defined in the
business needs, but that an alternative page(s) would be available for those
not having or not wanting to use Flash.  I feel 4.3 is very important to
ensure accessibility under certain circumstances and the process is not the
factor being considered here.
Received on Tuesday, 5 August 2003 13:11:21 GMT

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