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Re: Priorities & Impacts; Affected Groups

From: Jason White <jason@pc128-linux1.lib.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 11:55:14 +1100 (EST)
Message-ID: <13941.45938.596272.217291@pc128-linux1.lib.unimelb.edu.au>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
In making determinations of relative priority, this working group has
already been taking into account considerations, albeit in an informal
manner, of the impact of various design techniques on the usability of
an electronic document for a range of identifiable groups. This is
clearest in the distinction between the first two priority levels
defined in the guidelines: if, for any recognizable class of users, it
is evident that failure to implement the suggested technique would
make the informational content completely inaccessible, in the sense
of being unavailable to sense perception, then it is accorded a first
level of priority. Discrimination between levels 2 and 3 is also
founded on likely impact, together with other considerations, such as
the extent to which the problem can be better addressed by other
solutions, such as improvements in user agent software.

The broad expertise of the group, and the external review to which the
guidelines have been and are currently being subjected, are intended
to ensure that assessments of impact are far from arbitrary.

I am unsure whether any kind of impact quanitifcation would yield more
reliable results than the processes already described. The
distinctions between priority 1 and 2 techniques seem clear and
largely, if not entirely, beyond dispute. As mentioned, a range of
considerations, not just likely effect on particular groups of users,
has been taken into account when differentiating priorities 2 and 3.
Received on Monday, 14 December 1998 19:51:15 GMT

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