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Re: Some thoughts and Possible Action Steps for CD

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2000 21:13:21 -0500
Message-ID: <38D97DC1.14FE441D@w3.org>
To: Anne Pemberton <apembert@crosslink.net>
CC: gv@trace.wisc.edu, "GL - WAI Guidelines WG (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Anne Pemberton wrote:
> Greg,
>         You did a nice job of pulling together where the problems remain. I can't
> emphasize enough that the lack of graphics on pages not only makes the
> information on the site unavailable to many (most?) folks with CD's, but
> makes the web difficult to navigate as well. When those with limited
> reading skills encounter an all-text page, they have to decide whether the
> page is what they are looking for or not. A graphic on the opening page
> would go a LONG way towards clueing them about the main idea or theme of
> the page, so they know whether to tackle decoding the words or not. Even if
> the text is written in simple language the graphic is the clue whether or
> not the limited reader should invest the effort to apply decoding skills to
> the text.
>         I really would like to see a guideline that states that graphics are
> essential to some disabled persons and should be present on every
> page/site. It should be stated that the necessary graphics are illustrative
> not just for style and design (although some graphics could suit both
> purposes).

From WCAG 1.0:
Checkpoint 14.2: Supplement text with graphic or auditory
                 presentations where they will facilitate
                 comprehension of the page. [Priority 3] 

It sounds to me like you are requesting that this requirement
have a higher priority. According to our priority scheme, if not
having graphics will make the page inaccessible to some users, then
this has to be a priority one checkpoint. I have two comments:

1) Will graphics address this issues? My sense is that we need further
   input on this thread and from additional sources demonstrating that
   such a requirement will actually improve accessibility. 

2) To make such a requirement palatable (and I think it's important that
   the document be palatable, even if the level of difficulty for the
   author does not figure into the present priority scheme), we need to
   define more clearly the cases when graphics are required.  Where do
   draw the line to decide what concepts require associated images? What
   if I, as an author, deem something obvious and therefore not
   an illustrative image, but someone with a CD still doesn't
   How do I know when I've provided sufficient graphical alternatives?

I realize this is a difficult issue and I'm glad we're having this

 - Ian

> It should also be stated that the illustrative graphic should be
> viewable on the opening screen so that it can be used as a navigation tool.

> At 12:02 AM 3/19/2000 -0600, Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:
> >Anne, Jonathan,
> >
> >You must be pretty frustrated by now with this discussion on the GL list.
> >Similarly -others are also frustrated.   Yet everyone seems to be trying to
> >address the same problem.    I have been trying to figure out where the
> >mismatches are and I think I may have picked up some of the clues from the
> >last 20 messages or so.  Let me try a couple things.
> >
> >Jonathan - you said ? This group do not need 'every' page to be accessible,
> >however it would be very helpful if every site had a part for them.  For
> >example these people need to know their legal, medical and educational
> >rights.  They need to be able to browse the web and find suitable pages....?
> >
> >Anne, you said that text was often too complicated to understand even if
> >read.   Yet some ideas cannot be expressed except via language.
> >
> >These lead me to the following thought train
> >
> >a)  It sounds like perhaps you two  are not asking that all pages be made
> >accessible to people with CD but that more content be made available in this
> >form.
> >
> >b) However, the web content guidelines are intended to be applied to all web
> >pages.  (at least that is how everyone has been treating them).
> >
> >c) therefore - what you are asking for is not changes to the web content
> >guidelines but rather something else.   What - I am not quite sure.  Perhaps
> >a call for more content on the web to be made accessible to people with CD
> >or severe CD.  Perhaps a call for the development of guidelines for those
> >who are trying to create specific pages targeted toward people who have CD
> >or severe CD.
> >
> >d) In the guidelines, we have tried to put as much as we can to make ALL
> >pages as accessible as possible to people with CD by requiring that they be
> >written in the simplest language possible for the pages content and by
> >encouraging the use of graphics to supplement the text.     This will help
> >for some and make more pages accessible to more people.  But as you pointed
> >out, some pages will have text that is too complex and adding graphics will
> >not solve the problem for many.  We need guidance on what to do for them.
> >
> >
> >
> >So I think I might suggest the following ideas for discussion
> >
> >?That we continue to try to see if there is any more that can be though of
> >that should be required or encouraged for ALL web pages (and to add those to
> >the guidelines if we find any)
> >
> >2)  TARGETED CD PAGES TECHNIQUES DOCUMENT  (to be given a better name
> >though)
> >That a subgroup be formed to explore the development of a specific set of
> >techniques for people trying to create particular pages on their sites
> >accessible to people with CD or severe CD.
> >
> >That the subgroup also take a look at a series of sites and actually create
> >sample pages that follow the guidelines to demonstrate these ideas and
> >provide examples for others who might not understand the techniques doc
> >without examples.   You might pick a variety of sites.    Maybe the Disney
> >site, the WAI site, and I would like to see the Trace site included in the
> >examples.  [Lets call this
> >
> >I think it would be a great idea to also have someone submit a proposal to
> >do comparative research to see if people who cannot understand spoken text
> >could understand information provided in pictures or graphics - and which
> >types of information could be presented that way - and which types of
> >pictures or graphics would be most effective.   This then could drive the CD
> >techniques doc.
> >
> >
> >
> >Thoughts ?
> >
> >Gregg
> >
> >-- ------------------------------
> >Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
> >Professor - Human Factors
> >Dept of Ind. Engr. - U of Wis.
> >Director - Trace R & D Center
> >Gv@trace.wisc.edu, http://trace.wisc.edu/
> >FAX 608/262-8848
> >For a list of our listserves send ?lists? to listproc@trace.wisc.edu
> >
> >
> >
> Anne L. Pemberton
> http://www.pen.k12.va.us/Pav/Academy1
> http://www.erols.com/stevepem/Homeschooling
> apembert@crosslink.net
> Enabling Support Foundation
> http://www.enabling.org

Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 429-8586
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Thursday, 23 March 2000 02:13:42 UTC

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