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Re: Text equivalents and cognitive considerations

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 10:26:32 +1100 (EST)
To: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.10.10003171004200.11209-100000@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
To clarify the argument which I presented yesterday: I regularly use web
sites which give the full text of court decisions. Non-textual elements,
for instance graphics, may be useful in facilitating navigation of such a
site, but I doubt that they would be at all helpful in aiding
comprehension of the pages which contain the actual court judgments. In
order to understand the latter, one needs to be able to read and
comprehend the text, and it helps if one has had experience in reading
this kind of material due to the somewhat technical vocabulary. Thus I
would argue that such a site should be able to satisfy guideline 14

Checkpoint 14.1: the navigational and search aspects of the site are
explained in clear, direct language; the court judgments themselves are
expressed in the style and vocabulary chosen by the judges, which can not
be altered as it is the purpose of the site to preserve the exact text of
the legal decisions.

Checkpoint 14.2: Non-text components, especially graphics, may be useful
in navigation but would do nothing to facilitate understanding of the
primary content, namely the judgments themselves.

My argument therefore is that the guidelines need to be so framed as to
allow such a web site to conform, without minimising the importance of
checkpoints 14.1 and 14.2. I think the existing requirements successfully
arrive at such a balance, though more could be achieved by way of
amplification and explanation to clarify the scope of these requirements
and to offer advice in judging whether these have been met, and how they
should be applied to a particular site. Like Charles, I would contemplate
raising the priority of checkpoint 14.2, preferably after further
clarification thereof.
Received on Thursday, 16 March 2000 18:26:46 UTC

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