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Re: is this the best approach?

From: Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 16:13:37 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
Cc: Web Content Accessiblity Guidelines Mailing List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
aloha, wendy!

yes, continuing to develop guidelines for discrete modules is a necessary 
thing, but so too is promotion of the work...

however, the issue you raised of reaching out to those who write, maintain, 
and promote tutorials in order to educate them about accessibility issues 
and accessibility solutions, and pointing them to specific techniques 
falls, i think, under the purview of the Education & Outreach (EO) working 

the efforts of this working group, i believe, should be targeted at 
providing real-life examples and real-life solutions, so as to provide the 
EO working group with fodder to feed to those who maintain the tutorials to 
which W3C web space points...

perhaps EO not only needs to generate (and co-ordinate) web review teams, 
but documentation and tutorial review teams, as well...

i also think it is incumbent upon the W3C, and not only the WAI, to ensure 
that referenced materials include accessibility information -- information 
that would be derived from the GL working groups' continued work on 
developing more detailed and robust techniques...

the W3C has a process document (which lives in member confidential space) 
which lists requirements for technical reports that bear the W3C 
imprimatur...  under the section entitled "Document Validation" , there is 
a vague reference to the accessibility of the document (and 2 pointers -- 
one to WCAG and one to Bobby's online interface)

if the W3C has made an internal commitment to ensuring the accessibility of 
the documents that it produces, should it not also set a standard for 
tutorials to which it points?  the individual activity or working group in 
whose web space the pointer lives should be responsible for ensuring that 
all of the examples given in the tutorial validate, and should formally 
request that EO (perhaps in conjunction with PF and GL, depending upon the 
topic covered by the linked resource) liaison with the authors slash 
maintainers of the linked material to ensure that (a) accessibility is 
addressed wherever and whenever appropriate, and (b) that the document is 
(at the very least) single-A compliant...

i don't think this would be an unreasonable requirement -- what do others 
think?  is this something that could be slash should be addressed by the 


At 03:27 PM 2/24/00 -0500, you wrote:
>I'm working on my action item from last week: what should we incorporate 
>from the SMIL access note into a SMIL module for the techniques document.
>The SMIL access note is very well written.  I compared it to the SMIL 1.0 
>spec.  The spec describes accessibility all over the place.  I like that 
>the SMIL note brings it into one place and creates a context for accessibility.
>But, what are authors really going to use?  I think they will use the 
>tutorials that are pointed to from the SMIL page.  The two that I looked 
>at do not mention accessibility.  They don't even use the word "caption" 
>and leave out the system-caption attribute where they mention the other 
>system attributes.
>The authoring tools working group is working with companies to incorporate 
>accessibility into existing tools.  The user agent working group is 
>working with companies to incorporate accessibility into existing user agents.
>perhaps our job is to work with documentation developers to incorporate 
>accessibility into existing documentation?
>look at the effort it takes, not only for us but for authors, to create 
>our own documentation:
>1. we have to learn about, write, test and maintain the techniques in our 
>own documents.
>2. we have to raise awareness that the documents exist.
>3. authors have to learn from one source what to do, then *unlearn* many 
>of those things when they come to our stuff.
>4. our stuff is a separate thing.  it requires an author to read more than 
>one document.  is that likely to happen?
>The Guidelines need to exist because AU and UA point to them.  They 
>establish a good baseline that techniques, from a variety of sources, can 
>point to. It is a great work (that still needs some polishing).  But I'm 
>wondering if instead of putting our effort into creating all these new 
>techniques modules, perhaps we would get more bang for the buck if we 
>worked with existing documents to incorporate accessibility.
>Then our techniques document would be lists of pointers to examples, 
>tutorials, and other documents whose authors we have worked with to 
>include accessibility.
>wendy a chisholm
>world wide web consortium
>web accessibility initiative
>madison, wi usa
>tel: +1 608 663 6346

He that lives on Hope, dies farting
      -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1763
Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
    WebMaster and Minister of Propaganda, VICUG NYC
Received on Thursday, 24 February 2000 16:05:31 UTC

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