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Re: A proposal for changing the guidelines

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 14:42:18 -0500 (EST)
To: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>
cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.0003131436590.4307-100000@tux.w3.org>
Scott,

There is nothing you can do in dynamically generated pages that cannot be
done by hand coding (although one may be easier than the other) just as there
is nothing that can be done with a WYSIWYG tool that cannot be done by hand
coding.

In the case of tailored content, what is important is to ensure that a user
is not served an inappropriate version, and even more important is to ensure
that there is an appropriate version available. In your specific example, as
a sighted user, I found the "screen reader" version much better than the
other version.

I have argued several times that there is benefit in being able to tailor
content, but there is a risk of missing out on some groups by making too few
versions available, and to a lesser extent by poorly describing the benefits
of tailored versions that are available so that people do not use them.

Charles

On Mon, 13 Mar 2000, Scott Luebking wrote:

  Hi, Charles
  
  I'm really sorry, but you are missing the benefit of dynamically generated
  web pages which is to allow tailoring to the user.
  
  What is your definition of "generally accessible"?  For example,
  in my demo the page formatted for screen readers is easier to use
  for many of the blind people who tested it out.  The guidelines do not
  cause the web pages to have similar formats.  Therefore the preferences
  of blind users could be seen as being ignored in order to have the
  illusion of a "universally designed" web page.
  
  Also, I've been told that the concept of universally designed could
  easily incorporate multiple formats.  The more relevant issue is whether
  everyone's needs are being address, if possible.
  
  Scott
  
  PS  Look at the examples to see what areas aren't being addressed in the
  guidelines.
  
  > Scott,
  > 
  > The guidelines promote Universal design, rather than targetted design,
  > precisely in order to avoid the problem of helping one group at the expense
  > of another. They recognise that there may be situations in which content is
  > created in a way that is not generally accessible, and provide for that
  > content to also be provided in a generally accessible format in order to
  > claim conformance for that content. Note that this is not the same as a
  > text-only version. For example, there are more people with partial vision
  > than there are blind people in Australia by several times, and I presume that
  > this is the case elsewhere. Most of these people find images useful to a
  > certain extent (if they are properly used, which is a big if) and it is
  > possible through good design to use graphics in a way which does not have
  > anegative impact on blind users. Such universal design stretegies serve the
  > various communities much better than a couple of groups being targetted
  > (prehaps completely blind and completely deaf) and every other group being
  > ignored.
  > 
  > The guidelines make no distinction between dynamically and statically
  > generated content because they describe requirements so that end-users can
  > access content.
  > 
  > If you can provide us with information about access problems that are not
  > addressed by the curret guidelines, please do, so we can address them in
  > revisions. That is why we seek a diverse group of members for the working
  > group - no one person is likely to know all the problemfaced by all the users
  > of the web.
  > 
  > Cheers
  > 
  > Charles
  

--
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 
Received on Monday, 13 March 2000 14:45:23 GMT

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