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Conformance requirements

From: Charles McCathie Nevile <charlesn@srl.rmit.EDU.AU>
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998 10:26:08 +1100 (EST)
To: WAI GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.981204101628.21319I-100000@sunrise>
In order for the document to stand, there needs to be a test that can be 
applied. I see this happening in two ways.

There are a set of 17 principles which are the principles of accessible 
design. These are abstract, and  experts can and should argue about them 
for hours.

There are also a set of techniques determined at a specific point in 
time, considering a specific set of technologies. (That's the truth - too 
much attempt to generalise them and we will fade into irrelevance. But we 
do need to have recognition that HTML is not the be-all and end-all. I 
think we are sitting at a happy balance now). These form, from the point 
of view of the working group, which constitutes A body of expert opinion, 
a set of criteria which can be satisfied to provide a rebuttal 
presumption that the guidelines have been met.

This makes it relatively easy to establish by precedent (case law) or by a
change in the opinion of the working group or another well-constituted
expert body that a particular technique no longer satisfies the criteria,
or that a particular technique is no longer required, or that additional
techniques are now required, without changing the basic principles which
are established seperately. 

So the statement of conformance would say that a document or resource must
satisfy the guidelines to be accessible.  Further, there are a number of
techniques which have been established, along with a statemnt of their
relative importance, as means to implement the guidelines in specific
circumstances. The guidelines are a normative list, but the techniques
list is informative, and may be subject to change (eg with the
introduction of new technologies)

Charles McCN
Received on Thursday, 3 December 1998 18:30:10 UTC

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