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accessibility supported definition and concept is confusing

From: WCAG 2.0 Comment Form <nobody@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 06:14:18 +0000 (GMT)
To: public-comments-wcag20@w3.org
Message-Id: <20080130061418.D4BC9BEEC@nelson.w3.org>


Name: Sandra Vassallo
Email: S.Vassallo@e-bility.com
Affiliation: 
Document: W2
Item Number: (none selected)
Part of Item: 
Comment Type: general comment
Summary of Issue: accessibility supported definition and concept is confusing
Comment (Including rationale for any proposed change):
I am still unsure about how accessibility supported will work and what it means in practice.



The way it is currently described in the introduction seems confusing and somewhat ambiguous. This may in part be due to (I think) a missing full stop after \"... Success Criteria\", but even taking this into account there is an inference that it is acceptable to use technologies that are not accessibility supported: 



<quote>

\"Only \"accessibility supported\" technologies can be used to conform to WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria Technologies that are not accessibility supported (do not work with AT etc.) can be used, but cannot be used to conform to any Success Criterion.\"

<end quote>



It needs to be clear that technologies that are not accessibility supported can only be used if an accessible alternative is provided or they will not conform to WCAG 2.0. (Note: While there are some instances where alternative content can lead to enhanced accessibility, in this context I continue to have reservations, since it is being provided as a fallback to allow the use of technologies that are not accessibility supported and there is a risk it will become the norm rather than the exception with similar problems to the old text-only pages.)



I am also unsure how \"accessibility supported\" will work in practice. How easy will it be for developers to know if the technology is accessibility supported and in what way it is supported? Who will be responsible for determining if a technology is accessibility supported or not? Some accessibility supported technology may also require certain techniques to make it accessible at present or for legacy versions – will these be Advisory Techniques or Sufficient Techniques? If a recent version is accessibility supported and past versions are only partly accessibility supported, will people with disability be expected to purchase new software or do they have to accept that the content is not accessible because they don\'t have or can\'t afford the latest version? 



Using accessibility supported technology is only part of the process, as it is equally important that these technologies are implemented in an accessible way - PDF and Flash being classic examples where the technology is accessibility supported but the output often is not. While I assume PDF and Flash would be considered accessibility supported technologies, the new Adobe Digital Editions feature in Acrobat Reader, that combines these two accessibility supported technologies, appears to be totally inaccessible to screen readers.

Proposed Change:
1. Wording in Introduction



The meaning and implementation of \"accessibility supported\" in the Introduction needs to be clearer and unambiguous. 



Perhaps something like...



\"Only \"accessibility supported\" technologies can be used to conform to WCAG 2.0 and these must be implemented in an accessible way that meets or satisfies the Success Criteria. 



Technologies that are not accessibility supported (do not work with AT etc) can only be used if a fully conformant version using accessibility supported technologies is also available and satisfies the Success Criteria. Easy access to the accessible alternative in an accessible way is required.\"



2. Appendix with list of accessibility supported technologies



An authoritative list of accessibility supported technologies, that has been independently assessed would assist this process, and could be provided as an appendix to the normative document. Some clarification on the level of accessibility support is needed as well.



3. Techniques



Any techniques presently required for accessibility supported technology to conform to WCAG 2.0 need be in the Sufficient Techniques (until they are no longer required). 



The use of such techniques also needs to take into account accessibility support for older versions of technologies for a reasonable period.
Received on Wednesday, 30 January 2008 06:14:26 UTC

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