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Re: A proposal for changing the guidelines

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2000 10:08:30 -0500
Message-ID: <38CFA76E.8DA72B25@w3.org>
To: Jon Gunderson <jongund@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
CC: "Gregory J. Rosmaita" <unagi69@concentric.net>, Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>, Web Content Accessiblity Guidelines Mailing List <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Jon Gunderson wrote:
> 
> Gregory,
> The main issue that Scott seems to be raising, to me at least, is choosing
> between one of the following choices as the main premise for the web
> content guidelines:
> 1. Does every resource on a website need to be accessible?

The answer to this question clearly depends on the scope of "need".
I don't think every Web site in the world "needs" to be accessible, 
although it would be a good thing if all Web sites were. Some 
Web sites may "need" to be accessible according to legislation or
policy.

> or
> 2. Does the information on a website need to be available in at least one
> accessible form?

Independent of the question of "need", according to the WCAG 1.0, all
information must be accessible. You can have 10 forms of the information
that offer the *equivalent* functionality, and 9 of them can be
inaccessible, 
as long as the 10th one is accessible (as you point out below).
 
> Option 1 seems to be the current thinking of WAI in general (at least in my
> mind)
> Option 2 is acknowledged in Web Content with the provision of the text only
> page option for complex pages and in User Agent in the documentation
> section that says as least one version of the documentation must be accessible.
> 
> Do you think this is the central issue being raised by Scott?
> 
> Jon
> 
> At 06:53 PM 3/14/00 -0500, Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
> >aloha, scott!
> >
> >i've looked at your demos, and i've read your posts -- what i'm waiting to
> >read are:
> >
> >1) concrete problem statements
> >2) concrete checkpoint proposals
> >3) concrete techniques
> >
> >in the absence of the above, this conversation will go nowhere, but around
> >and around, as it has for the past few months...
> >
> >please -- anyone who has suggested that there are topics that the GL
> >working group has missed or who has a plan for a note addressing something
> >they believe WCAG does not currently (or adequately) address, please post
> >CONCRETE SUGGESTIONS to this list, so that they can be discussed on-list
> >and at CSUN
> >
> >there's been enough bickering and rhetoric posted to this list, and i admit
> >my own past complicity in prolonging the cycle...  but enough is enough --
> >let's get back to our mission: improving the guidelines and techniques
> >documents through the discussion of concrete and specific examples,
> >checkpoints, and techniques,
> >
> >         gregory.
> >
> >At 12:29 PM 3/13/00 -0800, you wrote:
> >>Hi, Gregory
> >>
> >>Look at my demo for a start.  What about it do blind users like?
> >>Also, look at my example of linking error messages on web pages.
> >>
> >>Scott
> >>
> >> > aloha, scott!
> >> >
> >> > in a reply to charles, you wrote, quote:
> >> > Your statement about a "user impact matrix" is kind of interesting.Your
> >> > argument can also be applied to the guidelines.  Don't the guidelines
> >> > themselves make certain generalizations about particular groups.  For
> >> > example, I can point out a number of areas of access problems that the
> >> > guidelines don't address that cause trouble for users. These areas are not
> >> > generally known because there has been very little research based on
> >> > observation on what kinds of problems blind users can run into.  By
> >> > ignoring the problems, the guidelines are assuming they are not issues
> >> that
> >> > affect users very much.
> >> > unquote
> >> >
> >> > if you are aware of any issues which WCAG does not address, you should
> >> post
> >> > them to this list, so that they can be officially added to the issues
> >> list...
> >> >
> >> > accessibility is in the eye, ear, and/or fingertip (to name but a few
> >> > facilities) of the beholder -- and if the guidelines working group isn't
> >> > aware of entire classes of access problems, we need to be alerted, and the
> >> > best way to do so would be to post a problem statement and proposed
> >> > checkpoint (and techniques) to cover each issue that we've missed...
> >> >
> >> > that, to a great extent, is how the WAI guidelines are created...  they're
> >> > not created in ivory tower isolation, but have consistently, and
> >> > persistently, sought the input of the widest possible audience, but there
> >> > are, inevitably, many from whom we were unable to hear, because they, by
> >> > virtue of being offline, are unable to hear us...
> >> >
> >> > so, if you can provide us with specific cases, scenarios, and solutions,
> >> > please do so, and we will fill as many holes as possible,
> >> >          gregory.
> >
> >--------------------------------------------------------------------
> >ABSURDITY, n.  A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with
> >one's own opinion.       -- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devils' Dictionary_
> >--------------------------------------------------------------------
> >Gregory J. Rosmaita      <unagi69@concentric.net>
> >Camera Obscura           <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/index.html>
> >VICUG NYC                <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/vicug/>
> >Read 'Em & Speak         <http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/books/>
> >--------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
> Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
> Chair, W3C WAI User Agent Working Group
> Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
> College of Applied Life Studies
> University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
> 1207 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL  61820
> 
> Voice: (217) 244-5870
> Fax: (217) 333-0248
> 
> E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
> 
> WWW: http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
> WWW: http://www.w3.org/wai/ua

-- 
Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 429-8586
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Wednesday, 15 March 2000 10:09:27 GMT

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