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Re: A.13 "if all else fails..." - please discuss proposed changes

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 16:59:37 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <199809162059.QAA29525@access2.digex.net>
To: chisholm@trace.wisc.edu (Wendy A Chisholm)
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
to follow up on what Wendy A Chisholm said:

> Note.  Alternative pages should be provided only after you have
> tried all of the other pertinent techniques outlined in this
> document to make your original page accessible.  

Maybe we can give a little more background than this.  Sites
incorporating alternate pages can be highly effective and fully
accessible.  It is just hard to do right and some people may
still take offense.

> Another option is to provide a phone number, fax number,
> e-mail, or postal adress where information is available and
> accessible, preferably 24 hours a day.

Somehow the scoping is wrong in this discussion.  Site providers
are not going to decide to provide 24-hour 800-number service
based on a single page.  And this does not come in the right
place in the flow.  This is not just a "note."  "Another option"
here is at the level of "you MUST provide a link to an
alternative page."  The MUST goes away if you provide effective
communication by means of a non-Web communications channel.

The MUST requirement is a requirement for effective
communication.  The site sponsor's checklist is "By what other
means is this information available?  If trying to get this
information by means of the Web is turning in to a 'beating a
dead horse' proposition, help the user bail out to another
way of getting the information that will work for them."

If the information is available by non-Web means this should be
explained in some sort of "who we are" page which does not have
to be the home page, but the path to it should be reasonably
obvious.

> <a href="wai-gl-techniques.html#alternative-pages">Guidelines and methods
> for creating alternative pages</a>
> 
> ----- in wai-gl-techniques.html#alternative-pages ---
> 1.  discussion of possible ways to create alternative pages
> 2.  discussion about linking between alternative pages (alt to alt, rather
> than alt to original, etc.)

Repeat/expand discussion of where to put references to
alternative services where same information is available in
techniques document.  Basically, this should be once in sponsor
identification per site and additionally at the entry to anywhere
that usability may be rough for any group of user.

Site design pointers (relates to linking alternative pages into
the site):

If there is a site index or "how to use this site" guide, it
should be extra accessible.  This can furnish the effect of an
alternative home page even if the site is not fully dualized.

Review how obvious it is to get from an arbitrary page to this
index or guide, and how easy it is to get to an arbitrary topic
from this index or guide, as part of the accessiblility and
usability review of the site architecture.

Remember that many visitors drop into an arbitrary page and do
not start at the home page.

Al
Received on Wednesday, 16 September 1998 16:58:36 GMT

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