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Re: Removing Priorities from Guidelines

From: Greg Gay <g.gay@utoronto.ca>
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 13:05:41 -0500
Message-ID: <36530C75.97C5C766@utoronto.ca>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn@srl.rmit.EDU.AU>
CC: Gregg Vanderheiden <po@trace.wisc.edu>, "'GL - WAI Guidelines WG'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Hello Charles

I don't think priorities should be eliminated altogether but perhaps re-thought
through. There are certain fundamental practices, like including ALT text for
images, which should carry more weight than the practice of say, including ALT
text for objects,  simply because images are the most common  accessibility
barrier and everyone should be familiar with the problems they pose for adaptive
technology users.

We are currently developing a tool for measuring the extent to which web
authoring tools promote accessibility (HTML editors and conversion tools, and
web based course authoring packages) . We have found that promotion of
accessibility must be measured in relation to a product's functionality. To
accomplish this, priorities were used to add weight to the more fundemental
practices, awarding or penalizing products for providing  provisions for them or
not. For example, a product is awarded more points for providing a way to
include ALT text with images than for providing a way to include ALT text for
Objects. Likewise they are penalized more for not providing a way to add ALT
text to images than they are for not providing a way to add ALT text to objects.

With regard to functionality, products are awarded points  for providing tools
to create various components of Web pages and are assessed on the extent to
which those particular tools promote accessibility. The results provide three
scores, functionality, accessibility, and the ratio between the two.

I agree that a weighting scheme should be discussed. As our measurement tool
currently exists, based on the WAI  guidelines, I am not convinced that all of
the priorities have been weighted appropriately. I will make a copy of the Excel
measurement tool and its accompanying documentation available for anyone
interested in providing input into it's development.

Charles McCathieNevile wrote:

> I think then we are left with a list of guidelines to be followed, all
> effectively P1. There are techniques. Where they are relevant the
> importance of using that technique has  a priority. I think we should say
> something like this in the document if we do remove priorites.
> Charles McCathieNevile
> On Tue, 17 Nov 1998, Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:
> > This is a proposal from the editors that we remove the priorities from the
> > guidelines and just have priorities on the techniques.

Greg Gay
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre
University of Toronto
SNOW Project Site Facilitator
Received on Wednesday, 18 November 1998 13:06:39 UTC

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