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Coverage of cognitive considerations in new guidelines draft

From: Jason White <jasonw@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 10:44:32 +1000 (EST)
To: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.10.10007141031430.3359-100000@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>

On Thu, 13 Jul 2000, Marti wrote:

> Following the discussion I find I am even more bothered by the division
> between Principle 1 and 4.
> Saying that cognitive disabilities are all covered in Princple 4 seems like
> we are moving toward creating guidelines for particular disabilities and I
> wonder if this is way we should go?

There is actually another way of thinking of it, which might help (and
this is what I had in mind in writing the draft):

1. We know that speech output is helpful to some, but not all, people with
cognitive disabilities. It is also beneficial to those who are blind or
vision-impaired. Thus, in so far as the guidelines under Principle 2
address the needs of speech output users, they will also be of benefit to
a certain proportion of people who happen to have cognitive disabilities.

2. Principle 3 requires that the content designer take at least some
measures to ensure that a "default" (author-supplied, or whatever we
choose to call it) presentation is provided. It thus becomes a
prerequisite to some of the guidelines under Principle 4.

3. Principle 4 is concerned with comprehension and readability. It is
specifically relevant to people with cognitive disabilities, whether using
speech output or not, but it is also of benefit to every user of the
content. Of course, those who are using speech or tactile (braille) output
will benefit from many of the application of this principle and the
guidelines which have been placed under it (documents become easier to
read, easier to browse and navigate, information becomes easier to find,
structure is clarified through headings and labels, etc.). Thus I wouldn't
regard Principle 4 as "guidelines pertaining to cognitive disabilities"
any more than I would consider Principle 2 as relevant only to users who
are blind or vision-impaired. The requirements are interrelated and the
benefits of particular strategies are often not restricted to a single
group that can be identified with reference to disability.

Does this somehow need to be made clearer? I suspect these points would be
covered in the introduction.

Disclaimer: all opinions expressed herein are mine and are in no way
connected with my role as co-chair.
Received on Thursday, 13 July 2000 20:45:55 UTC

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