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Re: Suggested issues that may be addressed in next version of guidelines

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Sun, 1 Aug 1999 19:31:08 +1000 (AEST)
To: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.95.990801190551.6239C-100000@ariel.ucs.unimelb.EDU.AU>
On Sun, 1 Aug 1999, jonathan chetwynd wrote:

> 6. Checkpoints relevant to cognitive disabilities should be reviewed and,
> where possible, improved, on the basis of well founded research in this
> field.
> 
> I am not sure what you intend, however could you please advise me what 'well
> founded research' you are referring to?

I am referring to the kind of research in psychology, cognition,
comprehension and education, the importance of which Chuck Hitchcock has
been repeatedly emphasizing in these discussions. If improvements are to
be made, as I believe they ought to be, then they must be based on well
established research findings, ideally a consensus of opinion within the
community of researchers and educators that is concerned with the needs of
people with cognitive disabilities. In most of the other areas addressed
by the guidelines, there has been widespread agreement among researchers
and people with disabilities themselves as to what the problems and
preferred solution strategies are. Cognitive issues, as they are related
to questions of comprehension, are substantially more complex than the
problems which arise in making documents accessible in a multiplicity of
media, or user interfaces operable with a range of input devices. Since
people with cognitive disabilities may be less well placed to represent
their own needs and advocate their own preferred approaches within the
context of guideline development, than are other relevant parties, the
opinions of specialists are likely to assume greater significance in this
area. As a consequence, it is especially important to ensure that whatever
solutions are included in the guidelines, have broad support among those
who have expertise in cognition, psychology, the education of individuals
with cognitive disabilities, etc.

As my knowledge of these issues is somewhat limited, as this aspect of the
discussion moves forward I will be persuaded not only by the most
compelling arguments but also by those which are best supported within the
research community.
Received on Sunday, 1 August 1999 05:31:17 GMT

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