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Comment LC-1064

From: Gian Sampson-Wild <gian@tkh.com.au>
Date: Sat, 7 Jul 2007 01:28:14 +1000
To: "'Loretta Guarino Reid'" <lorettaguarino@google.com>
Cc: <public-comments-WCAG20@w3.org>
Message-ID: <006101c7bfe2$48e43d20$b300a8c0@tkhcomputer>

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Comment 41:

Source: http://www.w3.org/mid/000901c69538$2e394450$f4c9b23a@tkhcomputer
(Issue ID: LC-1064)

4.1: There should be (preferably at Level 1) a requirement for content to
validate

Proposed Change:

Create a Level 1 SC requiring validation

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Response from Working Group:
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The working group looked at this topic carefully over an extended period of
time and concluded that requiring strict adherence to all aspects of
specifications does not necessarily result in an increase in accessibility.
For example, it is possible to create invalid pages that present no
accessibility barriers. It is also possible in certain situations to enhance
accessibility through the use of markup that is not part of the
specification.

The working group must work within its charter and only include things that
directly affected accessibility. Some aspects of "use technologies according
to specification" and validity do relate to accessibility. However, others
do not. So requiring validity would take us beyond our charter. We do
recommend it though and it is our number one technique listed for conforming
to SC 4.1.1.
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Response from GSW:
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The points you raise here could be applied to numerous SC within WCAG2. For
instance it is possible to provide a site with images that do not have any
ALT attributes (a violation of Guideline 1.1.1) and not present any
accessibility barriers - for instance if the images were all spacer gifs. 

It is also possible to enhance accessibility in some situations by violating
any number of SC - for instance when providing videos to people with
cognitive disabilities to convey information provided in the text (this does
not therefore need a text equivalent but it doesn't need to be marked up
with captions and audio descriptions). There is an exception in WCAG2 for
this latter example as there could be for validity. I see nothing wrong with
saying "produce valid documents except where additional accessibility
features force invalid code".

As for the Working Group working within its charter - there are also many
situations where you could argue that SC do not *entirely* relate to
accessibility. Error prevention would be one example. Even alt attributes do
not relate entirely to accessibility due to their use as a tool tip in
several major browsers.
Received on Friday, 6 July 2007 15:28:35 UTC

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