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Scenarios: legislative, reporter

From: Matt May <mcmay@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 14:49:40 -0600
To: <public-wai-eo-site@w3.org>
Message-ID: <889248B3-4540-11D8-B9D1-000393B628BC@w3.org>

Here is the result of my action item. Below are two scenarios, based on 
a legislative assistant and a tech reporter. I'll be at the meeting to 
discuss these.

Legislative Assistant
Brad Fletcher, 24
Organization: state legislature

"I can't get a straight answer from anybody. What's the difference 
between 508 and the W3C guidelines?"

Brad is a legislative assistant to a state senator who chairs a 
subcommittee on disability affairs. He has been charged by his senator 
to do background work on a bill that would require all Web-based 
services provided by their state to comply with a standard set of 
guidelines. Lobbyists representing various sides of the debate have 
stated that the best way to proceed is to follow the federal Section 
508 guidelines, while others have advocated WCAG and/or ATAG as the 
minimum necessary for many people with disabilities to use the state's 

A third political option exists: Brad could recommend the state create 
their own guidelines using a mixture of 508 and WCAG. This has 
potential political benefits that may ease its advancement through the 

Lawmakers are capable of either empowering or confounding our efforts 
at standards harmonization. It is important to ensure that people who 
are attempting to institute policy around Web accessibility are aware 
not only of who is affected and how, but also the benefits of WAI 
guidelines over others, and the added network benefits of a unified 
standard (supporting tools, stronger market power, etc.). People 
working on legislation should be made aware of how to

Kerry Roth, 31
Organization: Major newspaper

"I'm on a deadline, and I have to analyze the latest working draft of 
WCAG. I have fifteen minutes to find out as much as I can about the 
document, and get a quote from a W3C representative."

Kerry is a tech reporter for a large British newspaper. She is very 
familiar with W3C specifications, though less so with WCAG and barely 
aware of the others. She received news of a new draft via the W3C's 
communications team. Her time is very limited, and she needs to absorb 
as much information about the document as possible. Kerry requires 
quick access to the latest document, any comments released by the 
working group about the document, and contact information.

Reporters are not usually themselves consumers of our documents. They 
are, however, a great resource for evangelizing what we produce. The 
more the site speaks to what reporters need, and provides them with 
just-in-time connections to WAI personnel, the more likely we are to be 
seen as a relevant resource in the field of accessibility to them, and 
by extension, to the outside world.

The best thing we can provide for reporters is a clean path to the 
newest material. The site (especially the relevant documents) should be 
as clear as possible in terms of what is gained by following the 
guidelines; to which groups the document is relevant; and, if possible, 
quotes and contact information.

Received on Monday, 12 January 2004 15:49:45 UTC

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