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Audience (long) was Re: A proposal for changing the guidelines

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 00:21:48 -0500 (EST)
To: Robert Neff <robneff@home.com>
cc: WAI GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.0003122307240.2915-100000@tux.w3.org>
Rob,

my understanding is that the guidelines are squarely directed at Web Content
Developers, and describe a set of requirements that will make their content
accessible to people regardless of disability. This means that the
requirements are not written in terms of what is easiest for developers to do
first, but what is most critical for access from the perspective of the end
users.

The question of how to "sell the product" to developers is one whose priary
responsibility, as I understand it, rests with the Education and Outreach
Group, although we can expect some feedback from them and others on ways that
the guidelines could be easier to use. Not "don't demand something becuase
it is difficult", since that would be counter to our core mission of
describing the needs of the end users, but more along the lines of "how
should XYZ be done" or "these three requirements all seem to be the same
thing - are they?" This feedback then forms part ofthe broad range of inputwe
hope to take into the process of updating the techniques document and even
perhaps prpducing a second version of the WCAG guidelines themselves.

Having said all this, before I send I am going to look in the relevant places
for something that supports my approach:

Starting in the Guidelines themselves:

Abstract

  these guidelines explain how to make web content accessible to people with
  disabilities. The guidelines are intended for all Web content developers
  (page authors and site designers) and for developers of authoring
  tools. ...

Hmmm. So far so good. A little further on in the Abstract it says there is a
techniques document which explains how to implement checkpoints, and there is
a reference to the latest version of the Techniques document (Which is in
fact the latest version available on the W3C Technical Reports page). There
are also links to that document from each checkpoint.
[ http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT-TECHS ]

Going to that document there is very little information about it and how to
use it. There is also no mention of the fact that it was developed by a
working group who are publicly working onupdatign it, and whose work can be
seen somewhere. (Note to myself. Make sure the next public version of the
Techniques for Authoring Tool Accessibility say something like that too...)

Now, I mentioned the Education and Outreach Group, but they are not mentioned
in either document (another note to myself). The WAI home page is linked from
the abstract and/or status section of both, so I'll try that. 
[ http://www.w3.org/WAI ]

Aha! The first thing like regular content (i.e. after the news and the
mission and stuff) is links to guidelines, and the second is a set of links
to easy introductions. Cool. The first one is to something called "Quick Tips
for Accessible Websites" [ http://www.w3.org/WAI/References/QuickTips ]

This is nice. Good clear introduction to the page, links to the full
guidelines and an explanation of the relationship between quicktips,
guidelines, techniques, and checklist. And it says that the QuickTips were
produced by the Education and Outreach Group [ http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO ]

And the first thing on their page is a Mission Statement:

  Develop strategies and materials to increase awareness among the Web
  community of the need for Web Accessibility, and educate the Web community
  regarding solutions for Web accessibility. Details in the EOWG charter.
  [ http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/charter ]

So I think we have defined the answers. The problem is how to make it easy to
get through the information overload - how do we make it as easy as possible
for this group to work knowing the things that are assumed knowledge? SO I
turn to the GL charter [ http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/charter ]

Hmm. Says that you ought to be spending at least 4 hours a week, but on
what? I spend an hour a week on a teleconference, and approxiamtely 3 hours a
week  the mailing list (reading and writing and completing action items).

Maybe we need a bit of a reading list or something. If any of the people who
have recently joined this working group have read all the way to here, it
would be interesting to know what would help you.

cheers

Charles McCN

(In case you don't know who I am but want to, I have been a member of this
Working Group for several years, and I am now WAI staff primarily involved in
the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines and in the Protocols and Formats
working group).

--
Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053
Postal: GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001,  Australia 

On Sun, 12 Mar 2000, Robert Neff wrote:
[among other things snipped]  
  i do not think the WCAG guidelines have deifned their target audience.  Is
  it PWD or developers - it should be both!  They have a simbiotic
  relationship, yet each have different subgroups.  Hence different
  requriements and needs.  Universal Design is supposed to be a cure all, but
  when?  three years?  thisnk we need to putn the marketing caps on and use
  the soft sale appraoch...hook the developers with a nibbel and then when
  authpring tools are on board, then use the net!
Received on Monday, 13 March 2000 00:21:50 GMT

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