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Comments on WCAG 2.0 through Guideline 1.3

From: Justin Thorp <juth@loc.gov>
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2007 10:15:00 -0400
Message-Id: <46668924020000D800012D42@ntgwgate.loc.gov>
To: <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>

After a more exhaustive review, I also had these comments.  I hope to send more soon.

"Although some of the accessibility issues of people with cognitive, language, and learning disabilities are addressed by WCAG 2.0, either directly or through assistive technologies, the WCAG 2.0 guidelines do not address many areas of need for people with these disabilities. There is a need for more research and development in this important area."

Okay so I read this and my first thought was, what kind of research and development is happening?  Is the W3C involved with it?  Will it become WCAG 2.1?  What are WAIs plans?  Can we point to this type of info?

*WCAG 2.0 Supporting Documents*
Within the introductory paragraph to this section, we skirt around the edges of saying that this document isn't for developers.  Can we just say that?   Tell the developers if you're looking for practical advice then you're not going to find it here and you should look in X,Y, and Z supporting documents.

*Important New Terms Used in WCAG 2.0*
I have a really bad habit of skimming and not reading what I see online.  For the most part my brain has a hard time reading the long winded definitions they have of the new terms.  Could they pull out a one line summary definition of the term, bold it, and have the rest be extra explanatory info?  This would help me skim.

For example, the meat of the Advisory Techniques definition is...

may enhance accessibility [but do not] qualify as sufficient techniques because they are not testable, are not sufficient to meet the full requirements of the success criteria, and/or are good and effective techniques in some circumstances but not effective (and therefore sufficient) in others  

*SC 1.1.1 - Media, Test, Sensory*
I've read this sentence half a dozen times and I'm still not sure what it means.

"Media, Test, Sensory: If non-text content is multimedia  ,  live audio-only or live video-only content, a test or exercise that must be presented in non-text format   , or primarily intended to create a specific sensory experience  , then text alternatives at least identify the non-text content with a descriptive text label."

*SC 1.1.1 - CAPTCHA*
So according to " text alternatives that identify and describe the purpose of the non-text content," the ALT text for my CAPTCHA should identify the purpose of what my CAPTCHA is trying to accomplish?  For example, would the ALT text would be "This image is to test that the user is not a computer but a human" ?

*SC 1.2.1 - Captions (Prerecorded)*
"multimedia alternatives to text that are clearly labeled as such."  

I'm not sure what a "multimedia alternative to text" is.  After reading the glossary definition (which I don't normally read), I'm still not sure what it means.

*SC 1.2.3  - Captions (Live)*
Instead of using the term multimedia to talk about audio and video, can we just say audio and video?   When i think of multimedia, I think of more then just audio and video so when I hear about captioning multimedia its a bit ambiguous.

*SC 1.3.1 - Info and Relationships*
"Information and relationships conveyed through presentation"

What would be an example of this?  I'm not sure what its talking about.  It's pretty ambiguous.  I'm assuming people should be able to read the concepts in this document and be able to understand them without reading the supporting material.  WCAG 2.0 should be able to stand by itself and give good high level advice.

Justin Thorp
US Library of Congress
Web Services - Office of Strategic Initiatives
e - juth@loc.gov
p - 202/707-9541
Received on Wednesday, 6 June 2007 14:15:49 UTC

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